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THE HURRY HURTS

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

THE HURRY HURTS

Laura Sandefer

August 29, 2012

Slow. Children at play.

“Just. Slow. Down. The hurry hurts the children.” (quoted from a blog by Ann Voskamp.)

School day mornings are coming. What is it about the morning that triggers visceral stress in me? I don’t mean the dark and still pre-dawn part of the morning. That is when I am in my blissful, solitary element.

I’m talking about the 15-minutes-before-we-have-to-be-out-the-door part of the morning that tests me all the way down to my gut. Is this just me? “Sam, you haven’t filled your water bottle. Charlie, don’t forget you have to make your lunch! If you’d put your shoes in the same place every day you could find them every day. Charlie, I wish you would wear sunscreen. Are the dogs fed? Bye honey, sorry I forgot to kiss you! I’ll catch up with you later!”

I don’t want to be that rushed, frenetic parent. My goal early on with my children has been to act like a duck around them: calm and unruffled on top but paddling like the devil underneath. I didn’t want them to notice me being busy or rushed. I am not that good of an actor and I don’t want to fake the calm any more. I want to feel it deeply and authentically.

My summer mornings with my husband and children have been easy in pace and mood. Can I keep that feeling? Can I savor the moments even when shoes can’t be found and we’ve signed a contract not to be late?

Fall mornings are precious, too. Can I temper my churning insides to match the easy way of the birds I watch as we drive off? Can I rise above the reality of traffic and thoughts of dirty dishes in the sink? Can I be slow and beautiful inside, even on a Tuesday?

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Because the hurry hurts the children.

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ARE YOU “ITCHING FOR WINGS?”

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

ARE YOU “ITCHING FOR WINGS?”

Laura Sandefer

August 9, 2012

As summer meanders to its inevitable end, I sense more mystery than clarity to our planning, our research, our checklists in school preparation. I feel a yearning for what we cannot measure but must ultimately find. Stanley Kunitz helps me with his words from his poem, “The Mound Builders.”

“What’s best in me lives underground.

Rooting and digging, and itching for wings.”

At Acton Academy we will dig deep – beyond what any standardized curriculum could allow. We will honor questions and deny shortcuts to mastery and understanding. We will acknowledge the “itching” that is real and means that the journey must continue. We will get out of the way so that each child finds the greatness that lies deep within. And we will celebrate moments when wings are outstretched.

I am grateful to be surrounded by guides and parents who, too, seek this personal excavation and a renewal of opportunities to fly. See you soon.

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