Thursday, May 27, 2010

Embracing the Rainbow School

My friend Trouble calls my kids' school "the rainbow school". And dude, she is right, this place is all pretty and nice and full of sunshine and raindrops. I never knew that a school could be like that.

The school itself is out in "the jungle". Nestled in a rural area right on the ocean, surrounded by fields and streams and winding dirt roads. The school grounds are filled with trees to climb, dirt to dig, palm fronds perfect for building forts, decks to lie out on in the sunshine, lawns to frolic on. Swings and skateboards, animals and art supplies, laughter and some tears - life as it should be for a kid.

And just over yonder, down a path lined with orchids that grow wild, past an old double decker bus, over a narrow bridge and through the a hidden pool, with a waterfall and low cliffs perfect for scrabbling up and jumping off into the water. There are trees hanging low to swing on with your toes dipped in the water. Stones perfect for skipping. Big flat rocks where you can warm up and dry off between swims.

And that is where the school went today on an outing.

We all walked together, the kids laughing and chasing each other, towels slung around their necks and dragging through the grassy fields. We made our way down the trail, over the hill, throught the trees and into the hollow, to celebrate the last day of school. Lucy and I totally crashed the party - she heard about pools and waterfalls and hiking and refused to accept that she was not invited. That she won't even start school there until next fall. She didn't care if this adventure today was for the big kids. She was going, and that was that. The teachers were very sweet to let us tag along and I am so glad we did.

As we sat next to the splashing kids, handing out fresh picked bananas and swapping stories and laughing in the sunshine I realized that as much as the school is right for my kids, in terms of their education, and their needs, and their is also going to help provide them with the childhood I want for them. Great teachers, kind and loving and gentle and firm and inspiring. Great classmates who are compassionate and well-traveled, able to communicate and express emotions and encourage each other all along the way. And the most idyllic location imaginable.

Paradise found, for everyone. It's not a dream, it's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow Trouble keeps talking about. It's here, and we found it together and I am so, so relieved.

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