“Oh!” one hero gasped as he put his hands over his mouth, looking in awe at the structure he just built out of playdoh and pasta. “It stayed up!!” He squealed with joy, celebrating with his friend. “Miss Rachel, come see what I made!” invited another hero, as he tapped my arm and pointed to his magnet tile creations across the room. As I walk toward his little collection, I notice two other heroes hard at work washing, peeling and chopping carrots with a veggie chopper together, and later washing dishes. They are filled with joy and peace as they focus on their work to prepare an afternoon snack for the others. Still, another is “scrape painting” and attaching the words for her studio exhibition invitation to share with her parents.

Children are genuine – with such a strong creative superpower. It brings me great joy to see them engaged in creating with their minds and their hands each day. For while they are creating a structure, a tower, or even beautiful little carrot coins, they are engaged in the work of creating themselves.

And yet, we know that the creative work isn’t without its difficulties. What happens when the tower falls? What happens when a hero struggles to figure out the challenge? What happens when one hero’s creativity collides with another’s? Downcast faces. Tears. Anger rising. Conflict. Victimhood. Resistance. Distraction. The desire to control comes knocking on their hearts.

Then like a life raft tossed to them, a choice is offered: Will they speak from anger or speak from their hearts? Will they speak blame or share their feelings with vulnerability? Will they hold onto anger or seek a solution? Failure and frustration have taught them to see the power of initiating a conflict resolution. They have experienced the help and comfort it offers first-hand and how to quickly grab the peace flower and use this life raft on their own. This is deep learning. Interaction by interaction, day by day, peace is created out of anger. Trust is created out of hurt. Agility is being infused through the breakdown moments. Each hero’s courageous voice to ask for what they want and need is developing. Such a beautiful, powerful foundation for their lives.

Their openness and joy in this journey are inspirational!