Last night I was home a few minutes between work and Sharing Circle. It’s my window with my son, who is living a young adult life of his own while I figure out a middle aged life of my own. Several days a week, we cross paths briefly in the five to seven hour, when I come upstairs from day care and often prepare to head out for the evening, and he is at home, working on his projects or hanging out with his gal friend, preparing for a rehearsal, show, or work.

Last night, as I do many Wednesday nights, I offered my son a salad while I prepared one for the Sharing Circle, lettuce, cucumbers, pea pods, grated carrots, chick peas, tomatoes, roasted sunflower seeds with tamari, feta cheese, homemade maple dressing with Ashfield maple syrup I made the night before so as not to run so, so late. I put the ingredients for the Sharing Circle salad into a new bowl I found at my friend’s open studio, a tidy round bowl with matte green glazing and ridges on the outside, shiny jade glazing on the inside, just the right size to hold salad for the members of the Circle. Next to that I made a salad, dinner sized, for my son, in a nice green vintage bowl I got at the Spruce Corner yard sale in Ashfield last year from my favorite purveyor of vintage crockery and Waldorf inspired day care materials and vintage clothes. A nice old black cashmere cardigan and a sweet red flowered skirt now in my bedroom showed up the same day as the green bowl.

My son and I visit briefly. He plays a song he’s been working on, using his sample pad to rework a Brian Wilson bootleg piece, and then the original so I can compare. No surprise, this mom likes her son’s work best. He offers me a second iced coffee, and I accept, knowing I slept poorly the night before and wanting to be alert for the circle. I pack my things, remember my car full of Sunday treasure, my newly repaired bike and a load of art materials and puzzles gifted to me from Macky and Michael in preparation for their retirement. I unload the art supplies and my son puts the bike away, thinks about riding it to Davis Square on his way to Central for the show that night. We still share, not full meals at the table so much, or shared bike rides, but food, a kitchen, occasional conversation, help around the house, a bike. I offered lunch out today, something we enjoyed last year and last fall and this winter, but this time, my son is busy with his gal, a change that makes him happy and me, too.

Several years ago I had a similar window with my older son. He worked at Lincoln Labs the summer after his junior year of college. I was working in the day care. We’d get up in the morning together, my son in his work clothes for the first time, khaki pants, button down shirt, belt, shoes, freshly showered and shaven, and I’d be in my day care garb, shorts, t-shirt or blouse, sandals, and we’d commune in the kitchen a few minutes. He’d make us freshly ground and brewed coffee using the fancy beans I’d buy and the fancy burr grinder he liked to use and had brought home from college, and I’d unload the dishwasher, admire my grown guy, talk with him while he fried eggs or emptied cartons of yogurt into his bowl, my son of enormous appetite.

I basked in the sunshine of those mornings, will remember them in old age, as I’ll remember the Thursday Tamper lunches with my second son, and the Wednesday night salad making in two bowls, as I’ll remember the toast with almond butter and cherry preserves and chai tea in Karma travel mugs I share with my daughter at 6 on Monday morning when I drive her back to boarding school, as I’ll remember the kale and peppers and garlic and onions with eggs and half caf coffee with shaken soy milk I shared this morning in JP, as I’ll remember the little trays of almond butter and cherry jam on Hungry Ghost bread with pieces of fruit and a mug of tea with milk and a bit of sugar Richard used to make me in the early days when I left Northampton in the dark on Tuesday mornings to return to day care in Somerville, as I’ve remembered all my life the plate of fried potatoes and eggs my dad would enjoy before work, cooked by my mom and sometimes shared with me.

Food is my love language. As my kids get older, I take it where I can, quick salad left for a working performer, coffee and conversation over dishwasher unloading and egg frying with my tech intern the last summer he was home, toast and tea in the car for my gal and me as we part each week I send her back to boarding school.

I’m also finding ways to share meals with folks when my kids aren’t around, something I’ve been learning the last nine years since their dad and I parted ways and we’ve shared custody and the kids have grown up and away. I’ve been a single mom, with kids at home part time, most often with a partner who lives elsewhere, so dependable meal partners haven’t been my blessing or my curse. I haven’t worn out on too much meal prep or too many dishes for endless family meals. These days I make my salad on Wednesday and share it with the Circle and my son. I cook weekends my daughter is home, and now sometimes Tuesdays for my guy, sometimes weekends if we are together. Other nights its often catch as catch can, sometimes leftovers from the weekend, one night last week I just slept through dinner, one night this week it was yogurt and berries near ten, sometimes in the past it was ice cream and potato chips, very rarely it’s a meal with friends.

Daily, though, when I’m working, I eat with my small friends. We serve food family style, with small bowls and serving utensils and pitchers to pour, glass plates, real silverware, and lots of conversation and talking about the food. That is a part of the day care I evaluate and decide to continue over and over. Getting and storing groceries for ten kids and two adults a day is a lot. Preparing and cleaning up from two meals and one snack a day takes time and juggling. But, my love language is food, so it doesn’t really feel negotiable.

I love it when my two sits in the Trip Trap chair beside the counter and visits while I cook. I love to see the children enjoy the food. It makes me happy when parents ask years later how I made this or that food that their child came to love. My own children still find foods they had in day care to be their comfort foods, pasta with cottage cheese and sauce for my second son, cous cous with corn and chick peas for my daughter, rice and beans for all three. One six thinks I should serve quesadillas every Friday, or long pasta. Some kids take as much pleasure in telling me which foods they don’t like, again and again and again, often until they become beloved. That, too, is a love language, giving children and people foods they can choose to eat or refuse, a luxury of modern life to be lead by our preferences, rather than to be told what we must eat or to be eating out of desperation or hunger as so many have and do.

One older friend of Liana’s lost her husband a few years ago. In order to keep her sense of connection she aimed to share at least one meal a day with another person. Sometimes members of the Sharing Circle have said our Wednesday dinner is the only meal they share all week. We all value the community and companionship we find there, over food at the table and around the candles in the circle. What better way to be restored, to be reminded of our shared humanity, to connect, to love, than by sharing a meal with those we love and care for? Thank you, universe, for continuing to help me find ways to share meals as those around me change and as my life and routines shift and take new shape.

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This morning I woke up early, in the fives, after staying up late, past midnight. I woke up dreaming about the new children about to enter the day care, now and in the summer and the fall, about my new life, taking shape day by day by day as my children grow older and more independent and I settle back into my life, post break-up of my long term relationship with Richard, post break-up of the WFDC, new relationship with a new guy building, new relationships with new day care families building, life taking shape in ways I couldn’t have expected, as it always has, though for some reason, in my fifties, I’ve finally recognized this unexpectedness is the norm.

So many surprises shape our lives, illness, injury, gifts, new loves, old losses. The only way we can possibly make sense of it all is by dreaming each day into existence. What will I do today? is only part of the story. What will happen to me? Who will I meet? How will my life take shape? all play their parts. How will I cope? How will I help? How will I stay open to possibility? are frames I’m learning to allow to shape my days, as I aim for more resilience and hope, more love and connection, less discouragement and despair and isolation in the face of what will inevitably come, challenges and surprises I plan and don’t.

So, yesterday I had a fine day, visiting with my therapist, my new guy, my housemate, prospective parents, my son, my day care partner, my old friends, my daughter, some in person, some over e-mail, some by phone. In my solitary moments, I drove around the city that is becoming more my own again. I drove along the river on both sides, through Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, Brookline, and JP, my world expanding, old sites becoming familiar again, new places becoming mine having been here all along.

I also cooked, tacos for my solitary lunch with a red tablecloth on the back porch in the sun, and for my son’s second dinner in the kitchen late at night after his improv work, and baked, chocolate chip cookies I started near ten, my energy strong after two record breaking good nights’ sleep, following too many of sleep deprivation.

And I worked, cleaned my house, did laundry, worked on schedules and enrollments, budgets and contracts, banking, hard to distinguish work from play, maybe not necessary to distinguish, and I dreamed bigger, making a list of things I want to do to keep my house and yard and day care in good condition, into the future, whole and happy, shared those with my new guy, who has offered to help with some.

From my old friends and from the internet I learned more about a new school opening in the fall in Somerville where my old friend and former day care teacher, and now incoming parent has applied to work, Powderhouse Studios, a place for kids 13 to 15 and up to learn by making projects and telling stories, started by a team including a young woman I met when we were trying to start the Somerville Progressive Charter School and when I was looking for alternatives for my own kids and she was working in supporting both, as a resource and ally for our Founders Group, as the leader of a small math group my son attended briefly, and as another person working in our community with homeschoolers, as I was also doing.

Now, she’s making a public school in an image I admire, in a building that once looked to me so like a prison I remember telling my husband when we bought our house in 1993, that I would never send my kids there. The place is under construction now, no longer a cement fortress of an elementary school with few windows and asphalt for a playground, but a site of innovation and investment by the city and a group of young idealists who want to make something different.

Change happens, not always in the ways we think we want or in the ways we try to make happen. Sometimes we are the change agents and sometimes we are the observers.

Our day care is back in business. My friend and colleague Michael, with whom I visited last night, who has missed his last year before retirement from family day care due to leg pain that’s disabled him, asked me what its like to be back at work. Its great, and it’s been hard, I said. The first weeks we had so much to do, sorting out finances, redoing enrollments, adjusting to all we felt we needed to and were required to do to address the demands of the EEC, taking care of the children full time, that it was exhausting. Nearly a month later, things feel lighter.

Today I look forward to going to work with less anxiety about how I’ll do it all. The finances have become more predictable. The taxes and my own kids’ educational needs for fall, which had been up in the air and on hold during our closure, are clearer. The enrollments are nearly settled. I’ve got a fine new guy in my life, who’s stuck by me through six months of ups and downs. I’ve let go some of the losses of the life I thought I was going to live with Richard, have found myself back here in my own life, in my own home, in my own work, in my own city, and in the larger world of Boston, surrounded by friends and family and colleagues and museums and parks and festivals and music and movies, by good food and conversation, even in my home by a new family of three, all of which are making me really, really happy. Some of the richness I’ve built from living here every day, from working hard and being mostly kind, much of the treasure that surrounds me has been a gift to me I can’t hope to repay.

And there are the Quakers, who are there whenever I need them. For Drumming, for Sharing Circle, for Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business, for Potluck and Simple Lunch, for Threshing Sessions and Support Committee and After Thoughts, for forums and films and art openings and committees I’ve been invited to join, and for love, and meaning, for conversation and contemplation, even recently, for prayer.

Life is rich in meaning and in love. I’m a very, very lucky woman. Who knew? I think I did, that i have, though at times, I’ve forgotten, or haven’t had the certainty or gratitude I’ve needed to remember or believe it. Thank you, universe, for holding me through good times and bad, and for allowing me to wake up today with dreams.

I wake up early, think about all I have to do to keep this day care going, fall back to sleep, wake up to the sounds of folks downstairs, go to see if my sons are awake, find the guests rising and shining, little guy and his mom doing their morning routine, my sons asleep, one here, one at his dad’s. My daughter slept in a tent last night and will spend today hiking Mount Monadnock with teachers and other teenage girls from Landmark, where I spent yesterday for Parent Teacher Conferences, relieved and hopeful that my gal can continue there next year.

The day care opened Tuesday and was open all week. I was there at least part of each day. The children still need to hug us more. We are still living in a place of awe and gratitude for what two months ago we took for granted, our right to be together and to share our space and time with one another.

This morning I’ll deposit March tuition as April’s tuition. At the end of April I will do the math to figure out how much to credit each family for the time we missed in April. March and the first week and one day of April will go unpaid. The teachers are doing what we have to do to comply with the demands of the DEEC. We are signing up to retake hours of orientation trainings intended for new providers. We’ll give up Saturdays, pay subs, and sit for about twelve hours each listening to a trainer tell us how to run a family child care in Massachusetts.

I am at work on communication, contracts, schedules, and enrollments that had been settled before the closure and have been disrupted. One child did not return, having settled into a new day care while we were closed. Another child or two found other options for fall as the waiting was too hard and they had to investigate other options. Some families may have lost deposits put down at other programs in order to return. In any case, its a whole new set of schedules to sort out, now through summer, summer, and next school year, contracts to prepare, communications with current and prospective families and with staff.

And we have corrective actions to consider, mostly simple and we will comply, but one thing we notice it that DEEC has become more critical of programs’ use of public parks, so we need to clarify that, comply where we can, fight where we find the restrictions they might consider reasonable too unreasonable for children. It feels important we are treated fairly and that we are allowed to do what we know is right for children. So, we will sort that out.

Liana is working on photo books. Since we returned, the children have been drawn to hand made books Alice made when she was here of the children and teachers. Liana will work with Alice to make some with our current children and staff.

We have piles of thank you’s to write, plenty of e-mails to answer, letting folks know we are grateful for their support, that we are ok.

Time to begin all of that now. My son arrived home late Thursday night. I hope to spend part of the day with him. We’ll pick up his sister at school after her hike, watch his brother in a show or two at Improv tonight, share some food here and there. Tomorrow my sister and nephew will visit after his soccer games. Monday I’ll take my daughter back to school, then drive to my mom’s in Western New York. I’ll return Wednesday for an event with old writing class friends. Thursday I’ll visit with a friend, drum with the drum circle, work on catching up at home. Friday I’ll see my daughter, or she’ll be with her dad. Saturday I’ll attend the orientation training with two of my staff, maybe a Threshing Session I’ve helped organize at the Quaker Meeting House. Sunday I’ll prepare for the return from day care vacation.

Life will have a rhythm I can predict again. I’ll gradually begin to count on my finances again. Over time we will reestablish ourselves with the DEEC as a program like any other, if exceptional in our ability to fight their shutting us down. If we rise to the occasion, we may help others to learn to fight as well. For now, though, the immediate calls, tuition deposits after nearly two months, enrollments so we can return to full capacity, bills, banking, time with my kids and in my home, cooking, cleaning, relaxing in a way I haven’t been since this whole thing began. Life resumes as I once knew it, almost.

The really, really good news is that Liana and I have been found “suitable” by the discretionary review process of the DEEC. We will be allowed to resume caring for children and to reopen the day care. We have been asked to attend a meeting tomorrow at the Boston Regional Offices of the DEEC with my lawyer and a slew of the important ones at DEEC. I’ll drive my daughter North to Landmark, leaving at 6 am, and turn around and drive South to Quincy, hoping to arrive by 9:30 am for the meeting, hoping to be full of good vibes and fight, rather than exhaustion and defeat.

Parts of me feel all of that. The DCF supported allegations of neglect still stand. The retainer for the lawyer has been spent and a lot more is due if we decide to pursue an appeal.  I found out yesterday my appeal date is scheduled for June 29th. If we decide to go forward with the appeal we have time to prepare, and a long time to wait, and no certainty at all about the outcome.

We don’t know yet when we will be allowed to reopen, or under what conditions. Our day care fridge has no day care food left in it, other than three packages of sliced cheddar and many bags of frozen fruits and vegetables. The pantry shelves are still loaded with cereal, canned goods, and crackers.  Between getting the news of our reopening and the children arriving, I’ll need to do a shop.

The contracts I had prepared for the coming year the day before we were shut down are in a stack in my work pile, waiting to be revisited. I have an envelope of March tuition checks nearby, uncashed and unreturned. We were supposed to be closed for a week of paid vacation next week and I have to decide if we will take it or not.

But today, my children are here with me, one asleep  after a late night and two days of illness, the other awake and happy to be home and puttering in her room.

I have vegan banana walnut chocolate chip bread in the oven for my daughter to complement the banana bread wrapped in foil and a bow delivered to the neighbor’s porch by accident by my friend from Western Mass, recovered from the neighbor before dinner when the mix-up became clear.

I am typing at my kitchen table, covered in plants and flowers and fruit and a candle, all beautiful things, some gifts from others to us, some gifts from me to myself and my family, all evocative of love in the world on display to remind us why we’re here.

Today I’m drinking my tea out of a Mother’s Day mug from year’s past my daughter found when looking through the cupboards as we put away groceries from our shared shop yesterday afternoon, something that made me happy. She put the flowers and plants she was given last Sunday for Easter into decorative pots, including a vase painted by the same artist who painted the mug, which reminded me I had been missing it.  Both had been tucked away in the china cabinet behind a door of wood and glass. Both are now on display and in circulation for us to enjoy.

Which reminds me of the hard place I’ve been in with the allegations and investigations, the shut down, the legal proceedings, the financial distress, the surgery and two weeks of recovery in the midst of it. Through all of it we kept pulling more beautiful things out of the china cabinet to be admired.

Connections to old families and their children came back into our lives. The love and appreciation for Liana and me and the day care teachers and community became as real as they could be. Family and friends and colleagues and Friends carried us in their hearts. Delicious food, flowers, cards, letters, visits, trips to museums and beaches, walks and talks, shared meals and conversation, games and movies and tv shows and books, listening to and making music, creating art and writing, all amidst the worry and chaos, reminded me how much of life remained.

Here I am.

Awhile back in my writing class I was searching for my voice and theme in a piece and over time. A writing friend suggested the theme was What Abides. My teacher suggested that through it all, divorce, breakups, children growing up and needing me less and leaving home, school start up and new job attempts failed, thoughts about moving to Western Mass, what remained had always been the day care.

When I thought the last six weeks that the day care might be closed for good, I found the statement even more true. What remained, even if my ability to provide care and to operate the day care were taken from me and from Liana, was the community that has grown around the  work we’ve done all these years, all my life.

When a Sharing Circle friend asked after hearing my news two weeks ago how long I’d worked with children, I replied “all my life”, and began to cry. I had realized as I wrote the personal statement for the Discretionary Review request, that I had been taking care of children 41 years, since my brother was born when I was ten and then began babysitting for neighbors’ children the following year when I was eleven

Forty years of looking after little ones for work is a long, long time. I’ve had so much joy all these years. Even the last two weeks, while we awaited the news and wondered about our future, when I was caring for children in their home and visiting with them at the park, I found new ways of being a caregiver that felt real and important. I was sitting with my five on the couch in her home when we got the news of our discretionary review decision allowing us to reopen the day care. We hugged and I sobbed and then we looked each other in the eye and smiled, and laughed, at the good news and the way we sometimes cry when good things happen, out of that mix of joy, exhaustion, sadness, and relief.

It will take some time to find out what the long term consequences of this episode will be. I don’t expect things to return to life as it was pre-park incident. In some ways, maybe many, I expect life to be richer. I know now, as I’ve been reminded by so many, without a doubt, this is work I am meant to do, with Liana as my partner, and with the other teachers and parents in our circle.

I was so happy to have so many day care families at our potluck here on Friday night, a few short hours after we got our decision. My daughter held the baby of her day care teacher from age four, who will be back in the fall as a day care child and whose mom has helped us through this hard time. The children found each other and the toys and us. My one who I haven’t seen in five weeks smiled and made me tea upon our reuniting, delivered it to the kitchen were I held him close and let him back down to play. His mom, who helped tirelessly through this whole process, helped set up and clean up, and even cut her head when the utensil basket came down on her head near the end of the evening. The whole day care was full of kids and families and teachers who want to be there, and who we hope will all return as soon as we are given permission to reopen. That is huge.

We didn’t give up. We carried on. We know we are privileged, that we have resources others don’t, that we have a strong community and a miraculous mix of people who got us through. We wonder what we can do to look at what has happened, learn from it, and share the experience in a way that helps others and ourselves.

I am going to to try to be mindful of the mantra I found through this process, May Love and Justice Prevail, and to find out how those words might guide me in my work not only in the day care but in the world. I feel relieved that on many levels, love and justice are prevailing, though the hurt and injustice are real, too.

I need this Sunday in silence to cook and clean and write and to be with my family in my home, to begin to recover from what has felt like trauma, like watching my house burn slowly, or receiving a cancer diagnosis, or hearing of an accident that affected a loved one.

None of that happened to me.  I am mindful that for others, all those things to which I related our experience are real, and that they did not happen to me, and that in so many, many ways, I am as fortunate as can be.

This is the theme I’ve been working with the last few days. Where are they? Our oldest have graduated from college. Our youngest were on their way for fall. Others may be in the womb, some not yet conceived.

Many, many of us have dreamed our children into the world of WFDC. I was the first. Many have followed. My son Ben texted me how sad he was when he heard the news of our temporary closure nearly a month ago. He let me know that he tells his friends in New York City about the day care and how well I’ve treated our children and employees. That left a fine image in my mind, my twenty three year old mathematician, software consultant, ultimate frisbee champ sitting around in Brooklyn bars talking about WFDC with his friends. Word travels. Experience sticks.

Ben was the first.

Yesterday I spent the day with the current/only recently alumnized children of WFDC, two sisters, a nearly five and a two. The night before I prepared for my time with them at their house by cutting up heavy paper into pieces we could fold into thank you cards and decorate and write on and slip into a collection of rainbow envelopes I got at a Noho yardsale awhile ago. While I cut the paper I talked with my younger son about books he thought I might read to the older of the sisters that would hold her interest and bore the younger one to sleep.

In the morning before I left, I packed my lunch and things to share with the girls, cous cous made by my sister from a recipe I learned from a day care parent who shared it at our recent potluck, oranges that would otherwise have been served in the day care for lunch, pork I’d made for my mom when she was here after my surgery, french toast I’d made for me and my son I thought the girls might like, maple syrup made from sap from my brother’s trees, all in a cloth bag that had been hand delivered by a day care mom to my door the day of our closing, which had contained a bottle of wine and delicious ingredients from Dave’s Pasta for my dinner that night with my son, where we ate in disbelief both at the horror of the closure and the unbelievably delicious food and kindness in that bag.

Before I left the house, I took my license off the wall, gathered a large envelope for mailing it back to DEEC, and took photos of the documents I’ve been sent throughout this proces, so few, photocopied my license, photographed the empty day care, and walked the path my charges have been walking to me the last four years, in reverse, to lead my life in a mixed up way in the girls’ home instead of mine, laughing, talking, reading, drawing, cooking, eating, walking, delivering my license to the post office, where I paid ten dollars to get it to DEEC today, visiting the park where we were last together on that fated Friday so long ago, where we three were tentative in our approach and our colleagues and their day care children still play each day and welcomed us back into the fold.

I loved my day with the girls. And it was too, too quiet. Children at two and five need friends. Adults at 51 need the company of adults. We did our best. We cuddled, we talked about what is going on, we tried to make sense of our situation. But it is odd, very odd.

Around town the other children of WFDC are living similar lives, being cared for in their homes by sitters and nannies, grandparents and parents, walking, cooking, talking, laughing, playing, visiting the parks. While we are making do, we’d so much rather be together, so much rather the parents could do their drop off at my door than have me and others arriving at theirs.

The children want to be together. I learned at a dinner last night where Liana and I were treated by our park colleagues that our newly two thinks there must be something wrong with the front door of the day care that is keeping us from being open.

My nearly five helped me make one card yesterday, and then she and I both got tired. She wanted to write inside, but knew the words were too many for her to print on her own. I was washing dishes, and took her words by dictation on my phone: Thank you for helping us open up the day care because it’s really hard for us and we’re tired.

Here sister the two thought a lot about the mystery of the day care all day long. The day care is really closed? She kept asking me, wondering I am sure, what I was doing there, when I could be opening my own front door. Later she invited me to bounce on the see saw at the park, where she began telling me a long story I wished I could have had on video, saying, The day care is closed. Me and my sister are sad because the day care is closed. Me and my sister and my dad and my mom and my grandma and grandpa (and she repeated this sequence many times) are working hard to open the day care, and then it will be open and then we will be HAPPY!

Later in the day the sisters were pretending in their living room, in a quiet house after a pleasant lunch of pb and j they made themselves but hardly ate and cous cous from my home. The two said, The real day care is closed? But the pretend day care is OPEN!!

She is right. It is open in our minds. All of us must use our imaginations to our fullest potential to keep WFDC alive.

At rest time I read my new Winnicott book, Home is Where We Start From while the girls read books about using the potty they chose with Liana on an outing to the library last week. My two looked at my book and proclaimed it beautiful, a boring adult paperback full of words on a page. It is beautiful, I agreed, as I read further into the mind of another great thinker who knows for sure the importance of the early years and who is reminding me in this dark time that the work we do is invaluable, that the children are worth it, and that we can’t give up yet.

As discouraging as the supported allegations of neglect and turning in my license have been, I am trying to keep the positive images alive. Yesterday as I was getting up to start the day I got a text from a parent who hasn’t been here for years but who has been so, so supportive, asking me if it was true I had to turn in my license, telling me she had heard the news and been crying and wondered if she could call. I couldn’t talk, but we texted and imagined together that instead of walking with my two gals to the Davis Square post office, that we would be making a parade of all the WFDC supporters to the door of DEEC, where they could see us marching and singing and happy, as  my six imagined and I wrote yesterday, and understand at last that WFDC should be opened so the children and caregivers and families can be together again.

Today I wrote to families, who have been doing their best to hold out while we try to save the day care for their children and those we hope to care for in the future. I wanted to know their plans, who is able to hold out and how long, and what people may be doing for care now and in the future, as we await the decisions that might allow us to reopen.

One family wrote back and shared a plan suggested by their daughter, a six year old homeschooler who has been with us since September and hopes to return. Her plan is so wise, I wanted to share it here. If only we could follow this girl’s wisdom, surely the powers that be would see.

From the mom with the wise child, words that cheered me up on a day I have been feeling  rather sad:

— says that she has a plan for how to get them to re-open the day care. She says we should just have all of the kids come back to the day care and then the people can come visit and see how happy all of the kids are and how well you all take care of them. If only we could get DEEC to just listen to the kids…

Thank you, thank you to all the kids and families and friends and colleagues and community members for your support. At times it is overwhelming. Always it is important. When so much is unknown and at stake, it is so important not to be alone.

At last night’s parent and teacher meeting we talked about all the ways to send the Love Blast to the powers that be. After this I’m going to write to alumni families to see if we can gather the voices of the teens and young adults who began their years at WFDC to see what they can offer as testament to our program and it’s legacy. What form might their testimony take? Twitter? Instagram? Youtube? Facebook? Snapchat? All suggestions welcome.

We’re also considering making and sharing a video of the current WFDC kids telling the world about the place they love to be and play with their friends. We’ve heard one nearly five has been talking about what it is going to take to get the “government to open the day care”.  Her sister the two said she loves Maria’s house because there are q-tips there! Her mom says she just learned about q-tips with her grandparents this weekend. We know she loves the day care, but we aren’t sure the q-tips are the way to the DEEC’s heart!

As you can see, while we are sad and angry and scared, we are also persistent, creative, strong, and many, and haven’t given up yet! I’m also trying with gentle reminders, to keep my sense of humor, fleeting at times, but still there. Q-tips and my improv son and others who remind me to giggle, help a lot.