Monday, September 14, 2015

Day One CLP 2015

Dear CLP Families, Staff and anyone else reading this blog,
For many years now I have thought of writing a blog, I have always envied those who write blogs. I write short stories but I have never written a blog. But what would my blog be about? This got me thinking. I love what I do at CLP and I manage this program much like an artist creates a painting, with mindful passion, but I will always be an artist first and foremost. My expression is as a teaching artist, storyteller, musician and writer. After making it through the first day of CLP yesterday, today I spent most of the day at my computer emailing families and teachers, and the rest of the day putting out fires, I now understand what I need to write about. So here it goes:

Let’s all take a step back and take a deep breath. Ahhhhhh…...What do we all want in our lives? What is really important? For me, as a parent, I want my kids to be thinkers and problem solvers, passionate about each day and life itself. I want them to be giving, and to genuinely care about others. But equally important, I want them to not be judgmental and to give people a chance. I want them to know that we all make mistakes. Adults make mistakes, kids make mistakes, we all make mistakes. Some people don’t know that their actions could be hurting others and when they find this out, they often feel terrible. I want my kids to be forgiving. I have learned over my lifetime to be a very forgiving person. I don’t want to waste my time feeling anger or resentment, especially when I am not sure why a person may have behaved in a certain manner. There is a Native American saying that says, “Don’t judge another person until you have walked in his moccasins.” My mother, of blessed memory, Dr. Evelyn, “Effie” Golden lived by this motto. She had it taped to her mirror along with a myriad of other quotes and sayings. So why am I telling you this, why today?
     Yesterday was our first day at CLP. So many new faces, so many people, soooooo hot! Lots of stuff to unload, not enough storage space, spilling water, babies crying, trouble with the front gate, families locked out, Friendship Circle Staff asking us not to use the front door but rather, the gate, the pre-school teachers asking our students not to play with the little bikes and cars (two were damaged, please tell your kids not to play with the little cars, thank you), a lost sweater, more crying…..
     Kids showing up (How great) that were not registered, oops, not enough supplies, other families forgetting to come. Many of us were on edge, this is not an excuse, but rather the truth. We all wanted the day to be perfect. Teachers want the first day to be great, parents want to feel like their kids belong and this program will be a fit and kids want to feel like they can make friends, have fun and learn something. But…..and here is the big BUT…..we all make mistakes!  We are all doing our best. Often stuff gets in the way.
     Please try your hardest not to be judgmental, but rather to observe and take note. This is a great lesson to teach your kids as well. Try not to jump to a conclusion right away if it is less than positive. Many of the emails I received today could have been handled with a hug! If only hugs could come over email.
     So, I reach out to give all of you a hug and I say thank you for doing your best. Thank you to parents and teachers for caring so much about these kids that you only have their best interest in mind. Thank you for wanting to make a community. I forgive you if you make a mistake….we all make mistakes. I am sorry If I made a mistake! It was so great to meet all of you. I hope to get to know you better over the coming months. Please remember that I am a staff of one. If you put it in writing I will remember it better. If I left you in the middle of a conversation yesterday, it was not my intention. I am sorry.
Thank you for your support!!
     For those of your celebrating Jewish New Year this weekend, Happy New Year! May it be a sweet year for all of us filled with love, community, support and learning!!

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