When I was a child, at Christmas my somewhat rotund father would dress up like Santa with a cloth bag of candies and tiny plastic toys over his shoulder and go knocking on doors, house to house, in our neighborhood, saying “Ho, ho ho! Are there any good little boys or girls here?” And passing out rather unspectacular goodies by today's standards. My father loved doing this. Those children of yesteryear seemed to like it too. It worked. It was Christmas. But it was something else too. It was heart throbbing, eye widening, levitating, infectious joy!
There are events in our lives that can jolt us with joy, like a wedding, or the birth of a child. There is a quieter joy when something we have worked on, and maybe struggled with, suddenly comes together. Then there is the joy of working with others who are in an alpha state of creation, becoming the people that they will be. Like children in a Montessori classroom.
This is why I happily awoke every morning at 5:20 A.M., before my alarm, and walked down the hall to the bathroom to shower and wash my hair. Why I wore freshly laundered clothes daily. And I insisted that my son and I have breakfast and I packed us hearty lunches. Why? I had to be prepared. Teaching in a Montessori classroom, I was in the company of more quiet joy than I have ever known. And I had the good fortune to do this for years and years. This joy has had a profound effect on me, and I cannot help thinking it must also profoundly change the way children grow.