Today’s RIE in Real Life is a love letter to RIE classes. As I was preparing to head home for an undetermined amount of time to help with a family health emergency, I told parents that RIE classes are my happy place…and I meant it. Today was my first day back to classes and I felt it. From the time I spent setting up the space…noting the direction of the sun and timing for the shade we’d need, figuring out where to put which pieces of equipment, what toys I would offer and how I would arrange them…it all felt soothing and simultaneously exciting.
I guess I’m not the only one who felt it because one of the babies who came apparently yelped with joy when she realized where she was. (I’ve had other parents tell me the same…that young children absolutely get excited when they arrive to the building or park where class is being held…and protest if they go by the location on a non-class day and don’t stop!).
Class itself was a joy…watching two ten-month-olds follow one another around the playspace for 90 minutes, with frequent pauses for kisses, was such a gift. It was clear they remembered each other and the space and equipment…they passed toys back and forth, watched one another climb, shared post-snack snacks (neither one really wanted banana, though they enjoyed a little water play with their water, and were happy to dine on peanut butter puffs that were pulled from one Mom’s bag). We weathered a Mom’s trip to the bathroom, reveled in an Auntie’s visit to class, tried to point out a tiny lizard to oblivious infants. We talked about wiggly diaper changes, giving babies choices, acknowledged the evolution of intimacy, and simply basked in the present moment.
When class was over, parents (and Auntie) reflected on what they’d take from class to carry them through the week, we picked up all the toys, and read the passage in the header of today’s email, then said “see you next week.” Sweeter words have seldom been spoken.
Looking forward to seeing folks in all of my classes again over the course of the next week!
Oh, and before I go, I have to tip my hat to one of my other classes who managed to get together on their regular class day to have a RIE day on their own…they all brought either equipment or toys, they sat back and observed, one brave parent served snack, and they read form the Parents’ Tao te Ching! Woohoo!!! Yes! One of the biggest joys of being a RIE teacher is seeing the connections that form between families, to see them launch off into the world, equipped with their knowledge of RIE and the knowledge of their own hearts, and bring it truly into the wild…RIE in real life…RIE for life.