Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Zen of a Three-Year Old

Arlo started preschool yesterday and already he has taught me a lesson in being present and living the moment.

Last year he was in the Two's program, and this year he is in the Children's Peace Garden, which is a Montessori way of saying the program for 3-6 year olds, encompassing pre-K and Kindergarten. I realized yesterday that most of his friends from last year are in a different class from Arlo. I was concerned that he'd be upset by this.

Today I arrived a few minutes early for his pickup and got to see him playing with his new classmates on the playground. Was he concerned about last year's friends? Nope. Worried that they were in another room, having more fun than him? Not a chance. He was running around the playground with his new best friend, his face registering pure glee.

Then, later this afternoon at the playground near our house, I witnessed Arlo and another boy have a small disagreement over the use of sticks in their play. (Arlo said yes, the other boy said no, they shouldn't play with sticks.) If I had a grown-up disagreement like that, you can believe I would replay the event in my head, discuss it with my mother and husband, and probably use it as fodder for Facebook status updates. But my three-year old? It was over immediately and he went back to having fun. And living in the present moment.

You think when you become a parent that it will be about you teaching them things. But sometimes, if you are open to the lesson, you realize that they make pretty awesome teachers.

And my little Zen master has already given me my first lesson of the school year.

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