Friday RIE in Real Life…the little moments make the big ones

From the Parents’ Tao te Ching

First, to all those who celebrate, I wish you a happy and healthy new year! Happy Rosh Hashanah!

I am not of the Jewish faith, but I know that the Rosh Hashanah holiday is a period of reflection and introspection. A time to look back and a time to think ahead.

And that was on the mind of one parent in class today…her baby is turning one this weekend. Her mind is going back to where her body and spirit were a year ago, and that kind of introspection got her thinking about the changes she’d seen in her child (and the others in the group) in just the short 4 months class has been meeting. In four months, babies have grown and changed. Some are walking; all are moving differently. And they really know one another and the adults in the space: you can see their ease and joy as they arrive at class and their comfort with one another.

It has built, as it does in each class, week by week, class by class…children get more comfortable and more skilled. And parents get to see a snapshot of development each week, measuring their children against where and who they were a month ago, a session ago, a year ago. And over time, they can see children growing up…it’s so easy to miss when you are with them day in and day out…all those incremental changes leading up to big changes.

I got thinking about this today during the snack. One child came right away, washing hands, picking a bib, sampling a banana piece and dumping her water. Another child was brought to the blanket and had a few bites of banana and sips of water before she wandered off. A child who hasn’t been to class in a while chose a washcloth, but declined to let me wash his hands or go any farther with the process. That’s okay because it is a process. Observing, spitting out banana, spilling water, taking off bibs, leaving the snack blanket, deciding not to come to snack for a little while, maybe just playing with the materials for a little while…it is all part of the process. It is all of these incremental movements that lead to a smooth and almost effortless snack when they are older.

All the small moments of your life are slowly adding up to shape your child and you, your family. It’s hard to see when you are in the midst of it, which is why we celebrate milestones…but I invite you to also celebrate all the little moments and movements that will get you to the next milestone.

Have a peaceful weekend.