I’m back in day care today after a weekend with family and friends and three days before that at school. I find myself returning to life closely observed, taking photos of small buildings full of animals, of children cuddled in Liana’s lap listening to stories, of two friends talking while clearing block shelves to make themselves bunk beds. Life in this small world is intimate if it is anything. We change diapers, we feed, we clothe, we talk and touch and sing.

In the larger world I’ve come to know at school, I help to organize events, Tie Dye Friday, Joan and Wally’s Disco Dance, the Moving On Ceremony, making a motion to school meeting for a change of use for the first stall of the barn to be used again by the Video Games Corp. In between we talk about books, college, JC business, inch worms and sunshine and what a beautiful day it’s been, things which require a bit more experience and a larger perspective than the conversations and experiences I have here with the littlest ones.

I wonder how shifting back from larger world to smaller one will feel this round. The pictures help a lot. Much of this world is tactile, physical, observed. In the world of a democratic school much more is tradition, written and preserved, documented, or experience of a wider nature.

Just now our toddler is crying and calling “Mommy.” None of us knows why and we ask, but probably it will remain a mystery. Even the littlest ones are self-contained on some level. Their inner experiences register and we can’t always know their thoughts. Now, as quickly as she began, she has stopped. Walking around to see what is happening has distracted her perhaps, and now she begins again, “Mommy, Mama.” My guess is the solution may be a cuddle..which Liana or I will offer..Back to the small world I call home a day and a half a week, soon more. Await news of the effects of the shift. Liana is offering puzzles, a favorite of the mama toddler, and others say, “I want some puzzles” and a new adventure has begun. “This will be interesting with so many people wanting to do the same puzzles, some who know how to and some who don’t.”

The day care is covered in pieces, tiny blocks and figures in the back room, books and instruments in the middle room, brick blocks and scarves in the front room, now pieces of many puzzles. Life here is not only intimate, it’s messy, another message to take in as I shift. I’m going to take more pictures in an attempt to see more closely what’s going on. I’ll share some here later in the afternoon if I can find quiet time to do that work in the midst of the other things that will be going on, settling kids for nap, washing dishes, making salad for the staff meeting tonight, helping Liana prepare the registration materials for families.