Like many of you, I spend the weeks of summer scrambling between work and play. My children, Luca and Sofia, though both in high school now, are still very active and still in need of my taxi-cab driving skills. And so, as I write this letter to you all, I am sitting in the parking lot of a high school in Orange County, taking time to reflect in between my children's water polo games. It's blistering hot, and the air conditioning in my car comes as a welcome respite from the exceptional heat on the pool deck.
I delight in the small moments of watching my children find joy and success, face adversity and endure, try and succeed. I cheer them on when I can, while also finding time—a few moments in the parking lot or early in the morning in a quiet hotel room—to attend to the important summer work that helps our community ready itself for the new school year. As parents we are constantly juggling—time, attention, patience, fatigue, forgiveness, adoration, and love.
I know you are balancing all of this too...juggling between worlds, balancing our loved ones who need us with our responsibilities at home and work, and reveling in the small moments we still have with our children—these extraordinary young people who have come into our lives to teach us how to see things just a little differently, a little more clearly. It is this nuanced balance that cultivates opportunity for facing challenges, celebrating successes however large or small, and seeing ourselves and our children in the broader context of this beautiful and complex world.
This summer I have stepped into a new awakening about how I do (or do not) cultivate opportunities for my children to face adversity—in small chunks—as they emerge into adulthood. Scaffolding opportunities for our children to be safely uncomfortable is something we practice in how we teach learning here at Stevenson. We invite them to step into the safety of our community to stretch their minds and evolve—both as intellects and as people. This work resonates so clearly to me now as a mother as I attend to how I create the space for my own children to face "sitting in the murky middle."
Over the remainder of the summer, I invite you to sit with me in this place of inquiry from time to time. I look forward to hearing your reflections when we reconvene this fall.