Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fairy Godmothers

Warning: This post is unlikely to make sense to anyone but me : ) 

I have had an amazing week last week.  I spent it in Twitter DMs  and real time conversation with a #rockstar.  Lisa Murphy, AKA @ooeygooylady.  

We were organizing a Campfire Chat about Play.   Looking to set up that free flowing,  feet up by a fire, drink in hand, conversation.  Surrounded by friends.  Asking hard questions.  Rethinking, reflecting.  The actual chat was all of that for me. 

Through the course of it,  I referred to Lisa as The Fairy Godmother of Play.  I had a feeling of  “Hmmm, THAT fits her”.  A tiny pull of something bigger.  And shrugged it off.   

Lisa did not.  She reminded why it was such an honor.  Why it is such an important thing to be.  A FairyGodmother.    Which got me to thinking.  And reading.  And to re-reading.    

I do love my tangents.  Bear with me.  

I got into this twitter thing mid in 2010.  Found my people quickly.  Found #kinderchat.  Reveled in the crazy, committed, fierce family that understood,  articulated,  and breathed new life into my own commitment to Play.  

The next year,  at NAEYC,  the first Kinderchat tweetup had me crazy jealous and inspired from the sidelines as they met, played, learned, raged face to face. Had real campfire chats with s’mores.  And had the honour of attending the keynote that year. 

Vivian Paley.   Lovingly referred to as the Fairy Godmother of Kindergarten.  I inhaled her book,  A Child’s Work.  Because, full disclosure,  I had not read her work before.  Her stories, children’s stories, all written in a prose that speaks to the initiated.  That speaks directly to the hearts of the fierce and crazy ones that daily try to work the magic that is Play into what they do.  She floated into my world and waved her wand. 

During the next year I started following Lisa on Twitter.  Lurking, and learning, and leaning into her energy. Then meeting her.  For realsies : )  Not  “pretend I met Lisa and we all talked about play”  but Really. Talking.  I inhaled her book, Play.  Her stories, children’s stories, all written with humour and conviction and a call for ACTION that speaks directly to the hearts of the fierce and crazy ones that daily try to work the magic that is Play into what they do. She stomped into my world and poked her wand in my face. 

Fairy Godmothers swoop in and work their magic.  It looks so easy.  But check out the three in Sleeping Beauty. And the grandmotherly one in Cinderella.  They know it is not as easy as it looks.  That thought and preparation, conviction and crossed fingers,  imagination and making do, listening and adjusting, advocating and stomping,  are all a part of what makes the magic work.  

So.  Here is to my Fairy Godmothers.  I imagine that you have a few of your own. 

I am inspired by them. Maybe, just maybe,  I am one.  I do know that I will continue to wave my own frazzled wand over the magical kingdom that is my classroom.  I will provide for the play, and let the story go where the children take it.   

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