Emmi Pikler

It is no secret I am a fan of Emmi Pikler. The picture below landed on my inbox today and it comes from “Red Pikler La Plata” (Pikler Network La Plata, Argentina). A little homage to one of the greatest.

The translation of the text is below the picture. Enjoy!

“The image of the world we present to a newborn is completely different when the hands that touch him are filled with patience, tranquillity, safety and purpose. How different the world can be presented to a newborn if the hands that touch him are impatient, careless, rushed, restless. In the beginning, the hands to a newborn are everything: the human nature, the world”.

Optimistic

Para la versión en español, bajar 8 párrafos…

Finally, January is here, and renewed hope is amongst us, wishing that this new year will be much better than the year we are just leaving behind. For many of us, 2020 cannot be compared to anything and it has been a major milestone in our lives, so by default 2021 will be better. The question remains though…will it be better?

The optimist in me says yes!!! After such assault the pandemic did to many of us – many of us have been robbed of something – I’m pretty sure we have learned a thing or two.

We have learned to adapt and to live with our families, accepting them just as they are without ifs and buts. We have learned to look ourselves in the mirror and recognise ourselves just as we are. I am certain that no one can say that they did not go from grief to disbelief and from anger to disheartening in a blink of an eye.

We will be able to say that we came out the other end with a sense of renewal and new strategies…I am wondering if we all can admit that this adaptation to the new reality left us exhausted. One way or the other during 2020 we discovered the little inner genie in us and taught us to recreate and reinvent ourselves.

I am hopeful this reinvention, this recreation will have a positive impact in children. We must agree that whilst we were all locked indoors, we were an example and children learn from examples (that’s the reason why “Do as I say but not as I do” never EVER work).

Hopefully children will be stronger and will face live challenges in a different way, because, hopefully, they will realise they have an inner little genie which can help them to get to grips with whatever life throws at them. The children of today are the adults who will have a solid set of moral values, which in turn will give them power to manage unexpected situations thanks to their abilities; the decisions they may take are a direct result of this new conscience.

I am hoping these adults will have a sense of community and solidarity towards other people wherever they may live.

For those who did the “End of Year Balance” and left aside some pending, some write offs and decided to just turn the page to a fresh start rest assured you are transferring some intangible balance: Resilience.

As I said before, I am an optimist at heart.

Optimista

Y finalmente llegó Enero y las ilusiones se renuevan de que este año será mejor que el anterior. Para muchos el año que hemos dejado atrás no tiene punto de comparación ya que seguramente ha sido un hito en nuestras vidas así que seguramente será mucho mejor. La pregunta redundante es… ¿Será mejor?

 Mi lado optimista me dice que sí. Que será mejor ya que después de este asalto que nos ha hecho la pandemia – donde a todos sin excepción nos ha robado algo – seguramente hemos aprendido algo.

Habremos aprendido a adaptarnos a estar con nuestras familias y otras personas con las cuales convivimos tal y como vienen, sin peros ni vueltas. Habremos aprendido a mirarnos al espejo y reconocernos tal y como somos.  No creo que nadie pueda decir que no pasó del dolor a la incredulidad y de la rabia a la desazón en pocos minutos.  Todos podremos decir que hemos salido renovados, con nuevas estrategias …me pregunto si todos podremos admitir que esta adaptación a la realidad nos ha dejado desgastados.

Este año en mayor o menor medida todos hemos descubierto al genio creativo que llevamos dentro, que ha dicho presente a la hora de recrearnos, de reinventarnos.

Me ilusiona pensar que esta reinvención, recreación será transmitida a los mas pequeños. Convengamos que mientras estuvimos todos encerrados hemos dado el ejemplo y a través de este es como los niños aprenden (por eso el Haz lo que yo digo, pero no lo que yo hago NUNCA funciona)

Los niños saldrán fortalecidos y encararán la vida de otra forma. Se darán cuenta de la genialidad que llevan consigo y sus capacidades para enfrentar cualquier situación que la vida les presente, que no es poco. Estos niños de hoy son los que serán adultos con un conjunto de valores morales sólidos, que a su vez les dará una sensación de poder manejar una situación inesperada gracias a sus propias habilidades y las decisiones que tomen serán un resultado directo de esta conciencia.

Con un poco de suerte serán adultos que tengan un sentido de comunidad, de solidaridad hacia los que le rodean y la comunidad en general en donde les toque habitar.

Para los que hicieron el famoso “balance de fin de año” y han dejado de lado una variedad de saldos, un montón de cuentas que no sabían que tenían pendientes y otras tantas cerradas y han decidido comenzar a foja cero con un negativo discreto, seguramente sabrán también que se han hecho de un saldo a favor que no es tangible: Resiliencia.

Como dije antes: Soy optimista.

The Advent wreath

A simple way to explain Advent time , the meaning of the candles and prepare children for Christmas…and it is particularly good if Christmas happens…during the summer season!

One afternoon in November, mum was doing something that looked like a flower arrangement to put on the middle of the table. She had as well 4 or 5 candles, 3 of them were red, one purple and one white. She had some ivy, some pine twigs and some flowers from the garden.

– “What are you doing, mum?” – asked the boy.

– “I am making an Advent wreath”- se answered, whilst arranging the ivy and the pine twigs (the very same ones they collected together earlier that afternoon).

– “And what is Advent?” “Why a wreath?”

– “Advent is – she started – a very old tradition that started in Germany…

– “Where Grandma comes from!!! – interrupted the boy.

– “Yes, where Grandma comes from” – she answered and continued:

“It is an old tradition that comes from Germany, and it reminds us that we are approaching Christmas. In this way, we prepare ourselves for Christmas, lighting up one candle each Sunday, until, finally, on Christmas day, we light up the white candle, the one that goes in the middle, to remind us that Jesus was born”.

– “Ahhh….so that’s what it means?” That’s the reason why you have different colours?”

– Each candle has a meaning. The first candle we lit means Hope. The second one, means Faith. The third one, means Joy….

– “So Joy has a different colour?” – interrupted the boy.

– “Yes” – and she continued – “the fourth candle means Peace. And the last one we lit, the one in the middle, represents the birth of Jesus”.

– “But….Grandmother always had purple candles instead of red ones, like this ones!” – the boy pointed.

– “I know… – said mum. I do not have purple candles, I only have red ones, a White one and a purple one. In any case the idea is to build it and remember what it means”.

– “¿But mum, why are you using ivy, pine, flowers…they are going to die with this hot weather!!”

Mum smiled.  

– Using leaves and twigs and flowers, everything that is green, means life. From where your Grandmother comes from, Christmas time is winter time, so it is very cold, dark and you can hardly see any green…apart from pine trees and some bushes…here it is almost summer…so if the flowers and twigs wither we should go and pick up some fresh ones to replace them!”

– “¿And why a wreath?”

– “Because the first wreath was actually a cartwheel…”

– “Wow” It was huge then!!” – exclaimed the boy.

– “Yes. When this tradition started, it was the only thing they found that would be big enough to accommodate 24 candles, because back then they lit one candle a day….As the tradition went on, people started to twitch and twist so everybody could have their own ring, their own wreath …can you imagine if we had to put together a cartwheel? ¡It would not fit!”

– “Hmmm…. They could have chosen a square…. a rectangle…” – said the boy , pensive.

– “The circle, the ring, has a meaning as well. It means something that is never-ending, that does not have a beginning or an end, like Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace.”.

– “It is like this” – said the boy. And he gave his mum a hug.

– “Yes, just like  a hug” And she hug him back.

Advent wreath, November 2020, Spain