I’ve spent covid watching my son grow from babyhood to now getting ready to celebrate his third birthday next week. About four months into quarantine life, a dear teacher friend connected me with another toddler family and so I’ve been using our home to do “baby school” three days a week. For going on seventeen months now, our little ones have been each other’s friend, something so precious to me I struggle to find the words to say all that it has meant to us to have the addition of Charlie in our lives.
Thank you Charlie, for being his friend.
We’ve taken so many walks and wagon rides down the same streets again and again, getting a break from the walls of our living room, reminding myself that the outside world still exists. I am so often lost in my own thoughts, trying to picture what the future was going to look like. Doomscrolling, hitting refresh, the patience I lean into when teaching is often really tough to use on myself. Waiting on those first vaccines, sometimes I couldn’t see a future at all. In my better moments, I let myself dream about what could be next. I started a new notebook. I tried to put my phone down and pick up inspired writing about young children instead. Sometimes this is successful. Sometimes I lose a lot of time to Tik Tok videos. Lemme talk to em.
Meanwhile the neighbors that we said hello to from the sidewalk became friends who brought us a hot meal during the blizzard. Here in Texas when the bigger system failed to keep our power on, people taking care of each other kept most of us alive.
One page in my notebook says: In the future I want to build, what matters most is connection and community. On another page it says: I want to do my little school, out in the world.
In June I began looking for physical space where we had outdoors to play in and a dedicated room indoors to support our creative messing about (painting, drawing, building, clay work, dancing, and **play**) we’d stay a small program, myself and another teacher…
Yesterday I picked up a key to our new space.
Putting Tigerlily in part of an existing church space has been an idea of mine for years. More updates to come but we’ve found a home at UpRising Austin.
Thank you for following our story. You can help by telling others about our program. We need more children to join Zia and Charlie as we work to open something wonderful in March 2022.
Here’s to a hopeful future.