Wow TFC, what a year we’ve had! It has been challenging, to say the least, but we have collectively risen to the challenge, and it is clear how much we as individuals and a community have grown together. It feels amazing to look back at all we have accomplished.
After a two year, pandemic-induced hiatus, our “annual” Fun Run made its triumphant return this spring! And it was the perfect culmination of the year together. How wonderful it was to see everyone finally coming together outdoors—students, teachers, parents, alumni teachers, alumni families, extended family members, family friends, new incoming TFC families, BB&N students and community members, and a giant moose all enjoying the sunshine, music, and exercise together.
The most meaningful characteristic of TFC, in my opinion, is its emphasis on a caring and collaborative community, and while that has been hard to focus on during an isolating pandemic, this spring event certainly showcased the best of our community. Parents and staff worked together tirelessly to get the event off the ground, and on that day everyone pitched in to make sure students and adults alike had a great time. It was a perfect celebration of our community’s resilience, spirit, and collaboration.
As we wind down what I cannot believe is the end of a second pandemic school year, I hope that we are each able to reflect not only on the challenges we’ve been through, individually and together, but on our own growth and accomplishments, and our children’s incredible strengths and successes. I know I see this immense growth in myself, and in my own child. And I even learn from him regularly, through the things he himself has learned at school. This spring, his class examined caterpillars, then watched eagerly as they morphed into butterflies. In yoga class the children practiced butterfly moves, and he clearly engaged with the connection between curricula. They even rolled themselves up in the yoga mats, modeling a safe and cozy cocoon, a wonderful sensory tool which he now practices at home, rolling himself up in anything remotely yoga mat-like that he finds around the house, and telling me, “this feels safe for Owen.” As I’m sure it does! And I have learned that I need to use those same skills to pause and reflect on what I can find in my everyday environment that feels safe for me.
Hatching butterflies this year as a school felt particularly meaningful and symbolic—we eagerly watched those caterpillars isolate themselves into their individual chrysalises. We generally knew when to expect them to come out, but we weren’t sure exactly how long it would be. Little by little, they started to slowly, cautiously emerge. It took some of them more time and strength than others, pushing their way out, taking time to rest and regroup, then wiggling and pushing some more. Soon they were back out into the world, but looking much different than when they’d gone into isolation. Surprisingly, as we released them into nature, many did not want to leave the comfort of this small environment they’d known and felt safe in, but eventually they seemed to delight in the discovery of nearby leaves, flowers, and then the next leaf, and the next, and soon the whole open world stretched before them.
We are sending ourselves and our children off with this same cautious but curious outlook, using great strength and resilience to come out of isolation, many of us looking a bit different than we did before our journey together, and carrying these changes and experiences both inwardly and outwardly along with us; we are watching the world stretch before us, but still holding onto the safety that we felt in our close-knit, comforting pandemic community.