Now fifteen years later, I find myself, mom of three, looking for that common language here at home. The language that most consistently keeps us all feeling respected, positive, safe and happy. A foundation on which to build. Somehow it seems like it is so much harder now here with three of my own children, than it was back then with a classroom of other peoples' children. Back when I left school at the end of the day, week, year, I was free to relax, rejuvinate and rebuild my positive attitude and language. Now somedays I go to sleep feeling like I got sucked down into the negative spiral that raising a wacky tribe of children sometimes appears to be. Imagine being swished slowly down the drain with a spiral of water sucking you right down through the pipes and into the sewer.
Everyday we use water as our nonverbal method for communication. How many times did I soothe an unconsolable baby by running water on his little piggies till he giggled, and use the nightly bathtime ritual to show consistent love and care for my children. A squirt of water from my clenched hand lets them know I have a sense of humor, and a smile when they splash back proves it. Water can transport my family from a bickering, bellering, belligerent bunch to an amicably enchanted symbiotic organism. It can bring contented calm to the young fisherman while the toddler fishy wiggles delightfully on the swishing shore. Like a comedy water can make us laugh and act like children standing on our hands with feet in the air and splashing. Then in the meloncholy end of summer tale we wistfully leave our favorite lake in Maine for the year, we jump in and take some home with us, in our hair and on our cooled skin, like goodbyes in our ears, knowing we will return again and again and again, because we know the water cleans our bodies and spirits, and rejuvinates our minds and hearts, like a great novel you don't want to put down and are somewhat sad to finish. Water is our language.