On my recent train ride home from Kingston I was reflecting on the simplicity of the world of a preschooler in comparison to the complexity of an adult’s. I was trying to pinpoint the moment that I realized life was complicated, but I came to the realization that it’s been a slow awakening process. For the children in my preschool class, the quality of their day rests on how many turns they get at circle time, what colour their glue spreader was, or if another kid called them a table (I’m serious, this was a problem a few weeks back. The kids were all calling each other names, but were using inanimate objects as inspiration “She said I’m a plate.”)
Silly, yes. But life was simple.
In case you haven’t had a chance to check out the “about me” page, I am a Preschool teacher at an academically enriched daycare, preschool, and kindergarten called Little Tots’ Manor. Though I have listed this in my biographical information, I haven’t really given you an idea of what this means in practice. I spend my days with sixteen of the most wonderful, bright, and enthusiastic children in Toronto. But they’re still just three years old, so while I can speak about how angelic they are for ages, they all have their grumpy moments and accidents. Essentially my days are full of everything from laughter to tears.
Today we went on a field trip to a children’s theatre. We told the children about two weeks ago that we would be going on this trip. About an hour later, while preparing to go outside to play as part of our regular routine, one of the children asked if we would be going outside to get on the school bus. We reminded them that the trip was not for a few weeks. We were asked every day between then and the day of the field trip, “Are we going on the school bus today?” I thought it was so funny that they were so excited to ride the bus, they had forgotten where it was going to take them.
I miss the black and white understanding of the world that childhood allows. Things are either right, or wrong. As a teenager and young adult, I find that I continue to find life to be more complex and nuanced than I ever predicted.
It’s important to preserve childhood’s simplicity and find joy in simple, everyday things, and to find these moments in your day. I’m reminded of this every day, when getting on a school bus is an adventure.