She also never gave up. There were frustrated tears and there was comforting and encouragement. All that was followed by steely resolve and months, months of trial and error, trial and error. This is the kind of confidence builder you cannot manufacture or lesson plan out. And she will carry it with her always.
On our last walk to the forest, the children learned that the new paint markings were indeed the precedent to roadwork as they predicted, but specifically it was for a new sidewalk not road, that led them down the hill. They learned that the vine charcoal that they made on the fire the week before worked perfectly for drawing new maps. They learned about a fascinating phenomenon that only happens in the Spring — the oak pollen, dogwood and tulip poplar petals collect in the eddies on the creek and fool the eye (but not the hand, foot, or stick) into thinking that there is solid ground that can be stepped on. They learned that they could follow the deer path and not get lost. The children also learned that if you fall in the water, you will get wet.
Andrea stepped up and reminded the parents gathered for the membership meeting to breathe. She also told me to let them breathe, but I couldn’t, just wouldn’t stop, I kept going…something very important had happened earlier during the school day and I needed to share it. It was so relevant to the evening’s topic, “Mind-Body Integration” (see note below). The problem was I had not fully processed it, or more specifically, had not worked it through with the children, so it was just coming out scary rather than instructional.