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Embracing the pink + every other colour now, but these small words are HEARD by young girls.
As a kid, I most wanted to hear the words, “resourceful, creative, joyful, loving, compassionate, and courageous.”
Oh, and I got “stubborn” and “argumentative” growing up as well. Still rocking those, but as “determined” and “articulate”.
When I rest, I do not become less industrious
When I nestle with my heart, I do not become any less social
When I become angry, I do not lose my compassion
When I am hard, I do not forget softness
When I am serious, I do not forget playfulness
When I am still, I do not forget how to fly
When I am gloriously, messily creative, I do not forget discipline
I am exactly as I am, at this moment. I have a track record which I honour against my own moral compass. But the simple human longing to grow, the need to keep learning, the hunger to improve…these innate wantings and wishings will always give me the place to stretch and swim, to walk and wander, to practise and hone these skills. And I will always long to grow, the way each day feels different and changes by the minute.
I am so glad, so unspeakably glad at moments like these, that I have a heart that works, and that reacts with every fibre of my being, to the events around me. And while I practice patience, compassion, self-care, calmness in approach, and love, I am so glad to FEEL, every breath of my vulnerability and humanity. That I have words is SUCH a wondrous thing, and that I can give life to my thoughts, awesome, human, and perfectly exquisite.
This is my Dad and our little Kwokkie magpie. She is now 8 weeks old, talkative, learning all sorts of new skills and following my Dad around like he’s…Dad.
Here, my Dad is telling her to learn how to jump. This is the conversation:
Dad: “Come on, jump up! You need to learn how to jump, do you hear? If you don’t learn, you won’t develop any strength. Come on, try! Jump! Here’s my hand, have a go!”
I watched this video clip for the first time in April 2014, when I was scrabbling to find my feet in a new job, new city, new living conditions, new staff, and new teaching classes. This tiny snippet from home + my Dad made me teary and tender all at once. My Dad is the kindest person I know. He has a moral compass that can navigate any situation with compassion + clarity, he is unfailingly gentle, but he does not suffer fools. He gently + openly asks for what he thinks is reasonable and possible. He’s not afraid of struggle, and he has given myself and my brother this message over and over as a necessary ingredient of living a good life. The lesson he gives our little magpie is the exact same one he has given me all my life; to learn the skills, to try, to navigate, to fail, to try again, to develop…that’s the way to live a good life and to have what you need to live well.
He’s just far more articulate with our magpie than he has ever been with myself and my brother!
And this same gift of struggle and love combined is at the heart of what I hope to demonstrate and teach in the classroom. I hope that I dare to risk enough that I might be a good role model, that I never lose my love of life-long learning and asking “what if?”, and I hope that my words highlight struggle + courage + learning to be equally as important as the final outcome.
Here is our little girl at 6 weeks old, in March 2014. She proved us all completed wrong and continued to grow stronger in every way, in appetite, appearance, and voice. New feathers grew in place of the fluffy baby feathers, her wings grew stronger, she started to hop up into higher places and explore. And she grew in her personality + cheekiness. She would greet us each morning, following us around in the hope for food or a moment of play, tell us off if were were late, converse with us, telling us about her day, and sing. Each day her voice grew stronger.
She began to develop strength, joy + personality in a healthy and safe environment.
Can you see the parallels in the classroom?
This video is of my Grandmamma who has just turn 95, feeding her thinly sliced meat with chopsticks. From the scared little scraggly baby chick, to this eager magpie with cheek + appetite, we continued to delight in her being and watch her grow.
And I watched all this from Sydney! My parents, who were never pet people, all of a sudden became the adoptive parents to this feisty little magpie.
More to come! 😉