In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
―Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers
Your days are exhausting, filled with multitasking, multiple demands for your undivided attention— multiplied by days, weeks, months, and years. It would be easy to throw up your arms in surrender and run away or to plant your feet and cross your arms in self-defense. When overwhelmed by the demands of this profession, those who survive and thrive take a deep breath and quietly, purposefully think just minute by minute. Focus on just this child, scooped up and snuggled on the way to the changing table. Gaze into those big brown eyes, chant that name, and admire that little belly button. Do not be overwhelmed with the eleven more diapers that you will need to change or the nineteen other preschoolers who will need to potty before nap. For each child, you alone are his guide on the daily journey. If it were you, would you want a frazzled, worn-out, let’s-get-it-over-with, clearly overwhelmed guide to accompany you on your daily journey? Or, would you want a guide who exudes calm, patience, and openness to newfound possibilities along the way?
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.