Long Ridge School is a small private school that I taught at in Stamford, Connecticut for five years during the early eighties. During this past year, they celebrated their 75th year anniversary. The original founder of the school opened it as a preschool in her own home, using an enclosed porch as the first classroom. The school philosophy was based on respect for each child as an individual and reflected loving kindness to all.
This still small school has grown in numbers, buildings, beautiful outdoor environment, staff and expertise over these 75 years. Yet the mission upon which the school was founded has remained the same.
Recently the school underwent the lengthy re-accreditation by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. Upon finishing,the committee’s report stated, “It is a daring aspiration for a school to embody the notion of “loving kindness”. We were surprised and delighted to find that Long Ridge School can truly make the claim that this is not just aspiration but a fair description of daily reality. We loved Long Ridge School.”
Most parents, I believe, hold this same daring aspiration – to raise their children everyday with loving kindness and to see each one of them as the individuals they are. It isn’t always easy though, but if we notice, if we listen, if we look for connections , our children provide the way.
A mom shared a story with me at Play Shoppe on Friday. That morning, in exasperation, this mom had told her two and a half year old daughter who was not cooperating, “You are going to make me lose it!”
Without missing a beat, her daughter responded kindly, “I will help you find it, Mommy”.
And isn’t that what children do for us? They help us discover the strength, the power, the understanding, the love, and the compassion – even on our hardest days.
Loving kindness – our children will help us find it.
Thank you, Long Ridge School for being another place along my way that gave me loving kindness and an appreciation and understanding of its power.