In those moments in life where we don’t quite get it right, look for opportunities to loosen up expectations that keep us stuck in the “plan.” Children have a great way of being in the moment, and our Starr King children taught me that exact lesson.
My plan was to teach the children how music plays a part in telling a story. I gave 4-5 year olds sliding whistles. They could explore their whistles for a few minutes. Then they were to sit quietly while I told a story about a bouncing balloon. On cue they were to blow and slide their whistle once, either up or down, according to the story.
What was I thinking!!? The whistles were way too much fun to keep quiet in their laps. So, the exploration continued, loudly. Being the adult that I am, I stuck to the plan and moved the circle outside. The outdoors only encouraged the children to get up and move even more. Forget about sitting quietly listening to a story.
I took a breath, released myself from my expectations, and suggested we become a marching band of sliding whistles. It was great fun. We marched around the grounds, blowing our whistles as loudly as we wanted. The opportunity almost missed: experiencing music and movement as a community. We became members of a special marching band.
I am grateful for our children’s presence.