BY TAMARA STRIJACK
This fall looks a lot different than anyone could have anticipated. Many parents are finding themselves in the position of deciding to keep their children at home and figuring out what that might look like. Many teachers are finding themselves in the position of trying to “teach” in the midst of restrictive protocols and increased anxiety all around.
Regardless of whether you are navigating “teaching” at school or at home, I’d like to suggest a few developmental reminders to keep things in perspective.
But first, a story about frogs and ferns. Sometimes lessons come from unusual places. This one comes from Aunt Ruth …
In my world, this pandemic brought many changes - one of the more welcome ones was having my sister and her two boys move in for awhile. This was a hard transition, not so much for my sister, but her 7-year-old experienced quite a bit of resistance. He found the city streets and the bright lights comforting. I live in the country, where the wandering elk regularly eat the compost and wildflowers grow wherever they please. My nephew found this unsettling at first. And very unknown.
Young William liked order. And knowing what to expect. My house was odd, with cold floors. The yards and fields were unruly and he missed the cars and the traffic (unlike his Aunt Ruth who fled the city years ago and loved walking the forest trail beside her house.) But it wasn’t home. And he didn’t feel at home. That is, not until he met the frogs.
We met Ted first, down by the lake. I was introducing William to my bench, the place I liked to sit and observe - well, more like “take part in” - the world around me. The playful otter, the diving osprey, the shy beaver, the crazy crayfish, the brazen damselflies that rested on my Cowichan sweater. William happened to move in during frog season. We spotted one and I gave it a name - Ted.