March 15, 2017
What does it take to transition?
For children, we know rhythm and repetition are key components to success for moving through big and small transitions. We understand repetition as doing the same thing the same way each time, and while this may seem banal to adults, it is delicious for children. But what is rhythm? Rhythm is a plan with a pulse.
We reap the benefits of rhythm time and again at the Rose Garden. When a teacher calls in sick, she can rest assured knowing her students will accept the nuanced changes the day will bring just fine because they know what to expect overall. To take another example, when our trees required tending last summer and we had our first and only day of construction equipment in the yard, of course mindfulness about safety told us to stay inside, but it was easy to have a fretful moment wondering what we'd do without our sacred outdoor time! However, it quickly became apparent that the day's rhythm was so established that the teachers and children were able to work with the disruption instead of letting it work against them. In fact, children put on their rain gear and "swabbed the deck" that is the terrazzo floor, not missing a day of practicing putting on outdoor clothes or gross motor development.
Let’s zoom in on the moment a teacher realizes her rhythm is limited by tree trimming and decides to turn the classroom floor into the deck of a pirate ship. What do we, as adults, do when we notice the winds have changed, either in the form of external turbulence or one's internal development? A toddler demonstrating mastery over his classroom, ready for the next? A three year old on the cusp of being potty trained, struggling with the emotional component of letting go of this tie to babyhood? A six year old losing teeth, tying shoes and delving into phonics of her own accord?
What we do is we continue with our rhythm where we can, allow creativity to become our muse where we can’t, and trust we will adjust! Eventually the toddler becomes a preschooler, the three year old graduates to underwear and the six year old prepares for first grade, each secure in what they have learned and curious about what is yet to be discovered. They have just as much to create for themselves in their new role as they have to let go of in their former role.
In transitions, we find the precipice between the security of what is and the wonder of what could be. There lies an opportunity to create new aspects of ourselves, to enhance a facet lying dormant, ripe for blooming. And isn’t this growth what we strive for? This continued unfolding of ourselves? Few who stayed forever comfortable ever achieved much transformation. The next time you feel the twinge of transition, take creativity by the hand and remember you are experiencing evolution to the next, great thing.
Note: this blog has a new voice! This blog post and futher posts will be written by Meredith Unger. Feel free to reach out.