Here & there: What my children’s preschool taught me about my true direction

Photo by Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

FEATURE — Two of my favorite little girls graduated from one of my very favorite places this week: preschool. And not just any preschool. We’re talking the best preschool on Earth.

This place is so incredibly warm and loving that I recently joked to some friends that I was considering having a fourth child just to go back. It’s that good.

(Don’t worry, I wouldn’t actually have another child to rear and love for the rest of my life just for the preschool. Well, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.)

This preschool, Let Me Shine, was more than a great place for learning. It was also a place of deep, authentic connection. For my boys – and for me.

The director greeted each child and parent by name every single morning. At the end of “lunch bunch,” I’d often find my boys and other children nestled into the lap of the assistant director, all of them totally immersed in a picture book.

The teachers were the same. And so were the other parents.

When my nephew went missing in a small plane crash in the wilds of the Idaho wilderness, I couldn’t enter the building without sincere inquires and genuine offers for help.

One morning, a mom suddenly stopped me at drop-off and hugged me. I mean, really hugged me, the kind of hug that forces you to drop your guard and be entirely enveloped. The kind of hug that is actually a salve.

We didn’t have that kind of relationship – not before that morning, anyway. But we did from that day forward. And we still do almost five years later.

The preschool graduation got me thinking about all of that. And about the spaces where we intersect with other people.

Even more so when my husband came home with big news: a headhunter had approached him about a new job. A dreamy job. In Denver.

It would be foolish for him not to at least explore the offer; I know this. But I also know somewhere deep in my soul that I want the dreamy job to stay in the realm of dreams and out of my reality.

We have a good life where we are. We have dear friends. We have dear neighbors.

We know all of the eccentricities of our home – which windows are hard to shut all the way and which spots on the grass brown first – and we know the nooks and crannies where all the little moments happened.

The family dinners. The family dance parties. The Harry Potter-themed birthday party. The little boy’s name “accidentally” carved into the base of the staircase.

This is the place of all our intersections. This is the intersection of all our memories. Until now, perhaps.

Someone told me recently “Sometimes in our waves of change we find our true direction.” It kind of sounds like an Instagram quote. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

The threat of change has opened my eyes a little wider to my current intersections. I see them anew. I appreciate them a little bit better today than I did a couple of weeks ago. Mostly because they seem less certain.

Back in January I wrote about a failed visualization experience. I was supposed to find my purpose by imaging what my future self would say to my current self. What I found instead was nothing. Literally. I couldn’t visualize my future self saying anything.

My conclusion then was that I needed patience in finding my purpose.

What I think now is that purposes are more transient. My true purpose today may not be my true purpose next year. Or the year after that.

But true direction. That’s something more immovable, more universal.  And that universal true direction is about people and our interconnectedness.

Whether it’s in our homes, in our neighborhoods, or in the best preschool on earth.

Kat Dayton is a columnist for St. George News. Any opinions given are her own and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected] | [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • comments May 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    what a very “multicultural” stock photo.

    • statusquo May 27, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      More accurately multiracial – all the same culture of America ??

  • wildduck1 May 27, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Yes, isn’t it great? I love it!

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