Sometimes you wear your heart on their sleeve, your fresh pressed cotton sleeve, your crisp, camouflaged sleeve, your slightly wrinkled weekend sleeve. Sometimes you wear your heart in your hand, worrying, working, providing. Sometimes you wear your heart in open arms with few words (or sometimes many), with frustration, with patience, with love.
The other day you wore your heart crossed legged on the floor, your baseball cap pulled over your eyes, our son curled up in your lap in the middle of his classroom. That day your heart also had room for the entire group of wide-eyed little ones, an anxious circle of happy squinting eyes.
Between a busy schedule and walking out the classroom door, your heart took the time to slow down, open a book, and read not only to our son, but also to everyone else’s sons and daughters gathered in that circle. As parents we take turns entertaining, caring for all the children in the room, caring for the other parents in and out the classroom door, in and out our lives. As parents we belong to all of those children, Rafael’s friends, in some way, even if just for a moment of circle time, a moment sitting and reading, a moment comforting a child who also misses his or her mommy and daddy.
I watched you wear your heart a safe space, when someone else’s child leaned in carefully to see, to hear Rafael’s daddy read and just be with them, as if nothing else mattered at that moment. I watched you simply be a dad, with your open heart, your open book—your time.
Our Montessori experience, just like parenting, takes time. In our classroom experience, we try to love and care for everyone’s children (even in small ways), just as everyone loves and cares for ours.