I’m Kath Houlahan and I’ve been blessed to serve as the director of Oak Lane Day Care since April 2019. Oak Lane is a loving, nurturing place for both kids and adults. Our motto is “Learning to live…together” and I could sum up our mission and philosophy in just two words — play nice. 🙂
A sandy day is a good day.
Have I mentioned how awesome our Oak Lane parents are? Yesterday, in the context of communicating about water and sand play, a parent emailed “I did find some sand in his sneaks yesterday – the sign of a good day!” We joked that we had come up with a new slogan: A sandy day is a good day at Oak Lane. It’s true! How amazing, for a child to have a parent who understands that something a bit messy and inconvenient is actually a sign of a really good day playing and learning and being outside with friends. What a gift for a two-year-old — or any age, really — to have all the mess of childhood be accepted as a sign of a good day.
The job description that attracted me to Oak Lane asked: Do you like singing silly songs? Reading to children? Getting messy? Playing outside? “Yes!” I responded with all my heart. After accepting the job offer, I went online and ordered more jeans. You might see me wearing a dress from time to time — but it’s denim. I fully expect that someday my dress will wear a hand-print of finger paint, mud, pizza sauce, or peanut butter and jelly. That’ll be a good day.
Mess is part of life. It’s definitely part of life with kids. And it can be a joyful part. A few months ago, we celebrated a teacher’s birthday by making ‘gloop’, a concoction of corn starch and water. Is it a liquid or a solid?! It’s kind of magical, the way its properties can change, depending on if you squeeze it or let it flow. Kind of like the way we can choose to embrace the mess, to have a great day because of — not in spite of — the mess.