This spring has brought some changes in terms of our teachers and administrators. However, amazingly, everything feels very much the same as it always has at LifeWays [Milwaukee]. The rhythm of each day and the cyclical rhythms of the seasons provide us all, especially the children, with security.
Several years ago, when my now teenage daughter attended LifeWays, she was lucky to be one of the first forest kindergarteners. One spring day, probably about this time of year, I picked her up as usual after lunch. She wanted me to take a walk in the woods with her. I felt that it really was time to go home and take a nap. Her persistence and sincere desire to show me the forest won out and off we went down the path, surrounded by small blue flowers, to the river.
My three-year-old daughter led me on a hike all the way to the troll bridge and showed me what amazing, magical sounds a stick made when dragging it across the metal bars. She showed me where the fairies and gnomes hide and how to make proper hot “lockichaw” with a stick, stirring contentedly at the edge of the river. I was astounded that making “hot lockichaw” was an enjoyable activity for 45 minutes for a three-year-old. Keeping a three-year-old busy at home by myself was never so laid back. Needless to say we began taking more frequent trips to the river for some peaceful enjoyment together.
Now, several years later, we still occasionally take walks in these woods as a family. The blue flowers and mossy earthen floor are just as beautiful.
Tammy Teviranus is a caregiver at LifeWays Early Childhood Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.