Today, the children of the Hollyhock kindergarten set their boats to sail downstream at the nearby creek. They did not teeter, but glided effortlessly, following their fish knit tow lines in whichever direction their child chose. The end to celebrate the weeks of labor.
Sawing, rasping, and sanding (with sandpaper I, II, III, and IV, mom) before drilling, pounding in the mast, and sewing on the sail. The rainbow (or, rainboat, he giggles) of colors brings it to life with its own craftsman's personal touch.
I have learned so much in kindergarten, he exclaimed the other day, as the realization of the end was becoming more apparent. I learned how to sew! I followed up with some other skills: tying shoelaces, jumping rope, working in the kitchen. Little did I know woodworking was on the list, as well. Did you know we're making a boat at school? he asked me one night while lying in bed.
And, that has been kindergarten this year. Behind the closed door of the Hollyhock room, magic is at work. Through verse, song, movements that may or may not be shared at home. Through friendships, love, warmth, nourishment. Through consistency and wonder. It all comes home with him, goes into his sleep, and helps him as he finds his way. The careful unfolding.
With his toothless smile, he pulled that boat up the hillside and decided he had had enough. I'm done, mama. The muddy pants and boots were thrown in the back and the boat came home with us on his lap. It will be admired as the result of great work.
Now, as we transition from spring to summer days, we have one job already assigned: to find a sunny creek for the boat.
And, here, our new journey begins.