I Remember Mama

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

"I don't remember much about what my Sunday School teacher taught me," Doug Verdin, Rowayton Methodist Church's minister in 1994 told our teachers, "but I remember that she loved me."

At the Five Mile River Nursery School, we also express the hope that the experiences our children have here, have taught them how to ask good questions, taught them how to be curious and how to understand how they learn, but more importantly, to remember that we their teachers love them.

On this coming Mother's Day, let us remember those who've loved us, and the things they've taught us through their love.

When we celebrate our veterans on Memorial Day, with ceremonies of remembrance, we remember that those who have gone before loved us so much, that they put their bodies between their homes and families and friends and those who would do us harm, as a way of protecting and loving us. They have laid down their lives for their friends.

Four year olds play rescue hero endlessly. This sort of play gives children the idea of their own power. This kind of play gives them an idea of their own ability to be protective, to provide safety for themselves and others. This is the same motivation behind why young children play "house:" to learn how to be the adult mothers and fathers that we, who are their parents, model for them, and who provide protection and safety for them.

In the years that the Five Mile River Nursery School has been in operation, we have suffered the loss of a number of parents. Parents have died because of cancer, heart attack, anaphylactic shock, and the act of war on 911. The loss of a parent is a tragic event that shapes the life of a young child and continues to shape it as the child matures. We always experience the loss of a parent deeply, even if it' comes to us much later in life.

As parents ourselves, we understand that we are continually laying down our lives for our children. What will our children remember about us? When my father died, we talked around the dinner table with our kids about what they remembered about their grandfather. They remembered him in bow ties and taking them to the races in Saratoga. They remembered him giving them a dollar out of the "Din-Din bank" of his pants pockets. They remembered his sense of humor; and they remembered the stutter-step of his Parkinson's disease.

What will our children remember about us? Will they, like Lincoln, hear a mother's prayer? Will your children hear your voice, reminding them to pick up their things? Will they remember how much you loved them?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in his masterwork "The Brother's Karamozov" ~

“... there’s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life than some good memory when it goes back to the days of your childhood .... You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

My hope is that all the "Golden Moments" of your child's early experience, will form the foundation of their education, and be what they remember throughout their lives. My hope is that those beautiful happy memories will be what makes their hearts and minds different from the world's heart and mind, and be the instrument of the world's salvation one day.

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