I was all set to devote my blog writing time to the next segment in my quest to compare SDE, Public Education, Montessori, and Waldorf styles of learning when I got side-tracked by the US election. I suddenly had a lot to process*. I just needed to hold still for a moment. Then I needed new hope, new inspiration. Enter Sunbeam. This past summer, my son’s dear friend who is in public school, was enrolled in a half day arts summer camp entitled Heroes and Villains. My son is not into programs with a lot of structure but he loves his friend and in an effort to spend more time with him, he decided to take part. He spent four days working on this creation. When he finished the art camp, he didn’t want anyone to gush over his art as he detests insincerity and he had no interest in talking about it. So we hung his art in his bedroom and didn’t talk about it.
Wednesday night, as I helped him get ready for bed, I asked him “Can you tell me a little bit about Sunbeam? Is Sunbeam a superhero or a villain?”
“Sure. She’s a hero.”
I was surprised. I thought Sunbeam was a boy because so many Superheroes are males and since a little boy created him, I just assumed that he would create a male character. “She’s a girl? And a Superhero?”
“Yes! Can’t you see the long green hair? And the cape?” He was annoyed that I didn’t see this.
“I guess I saw the frown and just assumed Sunbeam was an angry villain.”
“Yes, she is frowning. Superheroes frown too you know. When she is happy, sunbeams come out of her eyes and her light shines everywhere and everyone feels warm inside. When she is angry, the sunbeams are like electric shocks and she shocks the bad guys. When she is sad, it is truly sad, because the sunbeams that come from her eyes are like she is losing energy, the sunbeams are like her blood. She is frowning because she is the only superhero and there are A LOT of bad guys that she has to fight. And she could really use a vacation.”
Wow. He put a lot of thought into that. What an interesting superhero! Suddenly I felt inspired again and here is why. Invited Conversations is one of my favorite blog posts not because I feel proud of the writing but because I believe so strongly in the message. It’s about how important it is to surround yourself with people that inspire you, not just for your own growth and development but for your children too. When your kids are nearby, they soak up everything you bring in their space. Learning about Sunbeam helped me realize that over the past two years, my son has played at Little Seeds, Learning in the Woods, and Barn School meetings with inspiring women talking nearby. He has played in the sun as we shared our joys and struggles as mothers who are trying to do something different. So of course Sunbeam is a woman. Of course she is a superhero. Of course she has a full range of emotions with the power to light up the room, shock the “bad guys”, and feel drained in her sadness. Isn't that the description of all great mothers everywhere?
Thursday morning I woke up thinking of Sunbeam again. I asked my son if I could have the painting when he was done with it. He smiled and said yes, recognizing that I truly appreciated his art. My heart swelled with love. All superheroes have moments when they feel like the job is bigger than they are but they keep going because that is their job. I was inspired again and if you are feeling lost or overwhelmed, I hope you find your inspiration too because, my fellow Sunbeams, the world needs us more than ever to shine our light and shock the bad guys.
And apparently there are a lot of bad guys and no time for a vacation!
*If you are in a place where you are processing a lot of emotions and finding it difficult to move forward, I would recommend this read by Yoga guru and Blissology creator Eion Finn. It’s in line with what we are trying to do at We Learn Naturally; create a space where emotions are processed and expressed in their entirety without judgement or pressure to move past them in an effort to make other people more comfortable. http://www.blissology.com/blog/light-soon-but-first-tears/