The Whangdoodle
June 9, 2016

Today we said, “Have a good summer!” to our Preschoolers, who had their final day of school. Tomorrow, we say “Congratulations” to our graduating 2nd Graders, who will soon be moving on to new schools. Many tears will be shed at the Moving On Ceremony, many hugs will be given, many wishes of good things to come will be shared.

I won’t share my entire graduation remarks here, as I want to save that for the children and their parents tomorrow. However, I do want to share some preliminary thoughts, based on the book that I have been reading over the past month to the 2nd Graders, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, Julie Andrews of Mary Poppins fame!), one of my all-time favorite read-alouds. It is 209 pages packed full of life lessons told via a fascinating story about three children and their professor friend who use their imagination to travel to another world. There is adventure, humor, sadness, and triumph emanating from every chapter. The 2nd Graders hung onto every word, and so did I, even though I have read it more than half a dozen times!

The lesson I have learned from the book, and one I want to share with you, the adults, is about letting your imaginations and your dreams propel you. As adults, our imaginations are not as creative as children’s – the reality of life has taken over. But, wait – we have children. Children with great imaginations! Let their imaginations take the lead once in a while. Get on the floor and play with the stuffed animals, look at the clouds and notice the interesting shapes, sing silly songs that don’t make sense, go for a walk and pretend you’re on a secret mission. There are so many ways to engage your imagination while fostering the creativity possessed by your children. As I said last week, summer break is upon us, which often means more time with these magical little creatures that live under your roof (i.e., your kids). Enjoy them, enjoy their imaginations, and live vicariously through their fanciful dreams and whimsical fantasies! Happy summer to each of you and your families!

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