Time travel

by Tilly Thyme on October 12, 2010

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but as you’ll surmise, I am experiencing many new beginnings and some happy returns.

Welcome autumn!  Enjoy these brilliant, colorful days!


N.B. – I have changed details/names in the piece below, but the tale it relates is true.

We stood together, my son and I, his little hand encased in mine, at the threshold of the familiar red building.  His new school, my former school.  His joy was palpable; I could feel the blood pulsing in his fingers, the same ones I had kissed endlessly over the four years of his precious life.  And here we were, before a door that would open both onto a new beginning and our first real separation.  The months before my son’s first day of preschool at Room to Bloom constituted a mix of raw emotions for me.  He is my first child, the image of innocence and wonder, and the being upon whom so much love and attention are placed.  I worried about his assimilation to school, my mornings without his warm presence by my side, how his little sister would react to his absence each day, and, mostly, about whether he would be happy. In the end, that’s all we parents want for our children.  We want them to revel in the unadulterated act of free play, engage with nature, throw themselves full force into childhood, flinging themselves as often as possible into imaginary worlds and flights of fancy.  I knew of only one school that could offer all of this to my child, and it was the very place where I explored the world at the age of three:  Room to Bloom.

That brings me back to the little red schoolhouse on Sycamore Street.  Nostalgia.  A longing for something far away or long ago, or for former happy circumstances.  The term’s etymology comes from the Greek nostos, a return home, and –algos, distress.  The modern sense of the word connotes a wistful yearning for the past.  As my son and I crossed the entrance to Room to Bloom, nostalgia washed over me, filling me with memories of my cubby, our class pet, my magnificent teacher Bev, Nonno Luigi’s garden, and hours upon hours of discovery.  What I felt, frankly, was pure delight, and as my son’s hand slipped from mine, I recognized the same emotion in him.   He moved quickly to the sand table, marveling at the opportunity to play with a classically outdoor material inside.  His eyes scanned the room, noting the colored liquid in the water table, the natural wood blocks lined up and awaiting his creative energy, the paints and clay, the guinea pigs!  Perhaps he didn’t formally acknowledge the sunlight that flowed in from the large windows, but I certainly did, and I was as warmed physically as I was deep within.

Observing my child over the past month has been a revelation.  I am simultaneously reliving my own days at Room to Bloom and marching alongside my son as he takes his first tentative steps toward independence.  I thought I would struggle much more with the separation, and I anticipated greater dismay on his part about being in school.  How mistaken I was.  I should have known better, if only I had listened to the voice of my memory.  A magical world of sorts, Room to Bloom houses teachers who best know how to reach our children, a director whose heart is evident in every aspect of the school, and a staff devoted to involving parents in this wondrous journey.  My husband, not an R2B alumnus, has repeatedly remarked that he wishes he could be a student here.  Perhaps we cannot return to our childhood days, but there is a sort of time travel to be had, if we don’t insist upon its form.  Childhood, in all its splendor, is bundled up in our children’s hearts, and we can visit it daily as we share in their school days at Room to Bloom.

{ 1 comment }

Candice November 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Love it- each time I hear it!!!

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