I go to a great yoga class every other Saturday that one of my favorite teachers, Channing Grivas, offers called Yoga Playground. Last weekend we focused on backbends. All kinds of them. A year ago I would only have been able to do a couple of the poses, but this year, there were only a couple that I couldn’t do. At the end of class as we laid in our sweaty savasana, she told us a story about when she was a little girl:
She was obsessed with Queen Elizabeth. Channing told us about a memory where she watched the Queen with her red robe trailing behind her (possibly a cartoon). She told us that when she asked her father about the robe, he told her that robe represents all the people behind her who support her and help her do her job as Queen. Because Channing told us this in a backbending class, she talked bout how we often neglect what is behind us because we do not see it, but it is back there holding us up, supporting us even when we don’t know or understand all the work it is doing.
We just had our fall parent-teacher conferences the week before Channing told us this story. Each year our Parent Teacher Community Organization (PTCO) makes dinner for the teachers: soups, salads, pies, yummy treats. They even arrange a string quartet and an acoustic guitarist to come liven up the room. They do a really lovely job and we feel really well taken care on what has the potential to be a stressful evening. It is an opportunity to feel the community network in action in the most visceral of ways, through food and camaraderie.
As teachers we often forget that parents are on our side. They really want what we want for their children, to do well. On the two nights of conferences each year, I feel their support behind me. I feel the robe which lays heavy on my shoulders. I feel the desire for their children to reach their potential.
But on this night, I also feel the support behind me. I feel parents who care about my experience of supporting their children. I feel them creating a space of comfort for all of us, under the robe – walking together.