When my three-year-old isn't jumping on his trampoline, running laps around our old Victorian house, or losing himself in a world of trains and tracks, he is delighting me with his language and with making sense of the world around him. The other morning as I was getting ready for the day, he sat on a stool studying me. He then asked,
"Mom, is your hair darker than mine?"
He sat quietly for a bit then said,
"Your hair is dark like the night, and mine is light like the morning."
And he left to play with Thomas and Henry once again.
I know my son is not alone in his poetic way of making sense of his world. All children are born seeing the world through the eyes of a poet. It is only when we adults interfere and try to "teach" them about poetry that they stop acting like poets.
Kenneth Koch, poet and educator who wrote Wishes, Lies and Dreams in 1970, approached students in New York city schools as natural poets. "I let the children make a good deal of noise. Children do when they are excited, and writing poetry is exciting." I admire Kenneth Koch greatly, and his work has inspired my teaching for the past twenty years both within the elementary school classroom as well as in my writing workshops with Stories by the Sea. My hope and intention through my work is to bring each child and adult back to his or her natural poet within, to slow down, to see the world through new eyes, and to write from the heart. I wish this for my son and I wish it for each of us.
About the Author
I am a mom to two sweet and lively boys and live in Santa Barbara, California. My oldest has Cornelia deLange Syndrome. He fuels my passion for advocating for equity and inclusion wherever I go. I love the power of a good story to inspire, educate, and make change in our world.