In the book The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle by Margaret Read MacDonald, a fairy grants the old woman her wishes to upgrade her living conditions from vinegar bottle to cottage to townhouse to palace and more. Each time, the woman utters, “Oh what a pity, a pity, pity, pity that someone like me should live in a (fill in the blank).” Like far too many child care workers, I often hear, “Oh what a pity that I should have so many demands, parents, policies, procedures, and regulations. Oh what pity! Why should someone like me (fill in the blank)?” What? If a fairy granted you your dream job, what would it be? Oh what a pity that children spend their days with an oppressed whiner. That woman who lived in the vinegar bottle? The fairy sent her back. If she’s not happy there, she won’t be happy anywhere. Happiness is found in the heart, not in a place. You get to choose.
In loving memory of Gryphon House author Leanne Grace, MEd, we are sharing pieces of her inspirational writing every Wednesday. Leanne was the director of professional development at Hildebrandt Learning Centers and a lifelong advocate for early childhood education. She inspired the early childhood community to prepare children as lifelong learners with her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. One person can make a difference, and Leanne did just that. She will be sorely missed.