Oh Joy Begin!

Welcome to my newest jam: Samurai Cop (Oh joy begins) by Dave Matthews Band. One of the things that I have in common with many of our students is that I love music! Children’s bodies and minds are very responsive to music, and many joyful results can occur when the right song speaks to them. There is still a part of me that responds to music that way and occasionally a particular song will strike me and I will listen to it over and over and just can’t “Let it go”. Samurai Cop is my most recent obsession.

I heard it and immediately thought of my own children and parenting experience, but the more I listened to it the more universal I found the message. As of my last listening (which was somewhere around the hundredth time), I realized that this song matches one of my firmly held beliefs about humans, and a big part of the reason I was drawn to early childhood education: There are many things that make each of us unique, but there are also things that are universal and experienced by all humankind. As the lyrics note:

Let’s not forget these early days
Remembering we began the same
We lose our way in fear and pain
Oh joy begin

Early childhood development is like that. So many things are shared across the human experience: we are all part of the same larger puzzle. We share many basic needs. We progress along developmental paths that (though rarely moving at the same pace) are roughly headed in the same direction. The more I listened to it the more I realized the song reminds me of the great Maya Angelou’s Human Family as she notes, “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

Parenting young children can sometimes be a lonely experience. Human connection can drop as we find ourselves too busy taking care of our children to take care of or expand our own personal interests or relationships. I know for my part, I moved twice when my children were very young, and during those early months in new locations when my support group was almost non-existent, I could, at times, feel very alone and exhausted. It was at those times that I found the thought of us all being connected most comforting.

With the holiday season upon us, please take a moment to appreciate our connectedness, nurture your relationships, and enrich your life with some new music, poetry, art, or literature. Nurturing your soul will give you the fuel you need to nurture your child’s.