It’s been profoundly rewarding to run the playgroup in this year of Covid-19. If not for the confidence and determination of parents who wanted to go forward this year, and the fact that the group is so small, I’m not at all sure it could have happened. The rewards of going ahead have been immeasurable.
Much of my worry was around separation. In any other year, parents and/or caregivers are invited into the playgroup space to help the kids who are having trouble acclimating. This year it was clear months ago, as I started imaging how to structure things, that no one could enter the space other than me, my assistant and the kids. Shoes and coats are now left outside the playgroup space. Before entering temperatures are taken and hand sanitizer used by all those allowed inside.
The thing that keeps blowing my mind is that separation was the easiest it has ever been in the more than three decades I’ve been running playgroups. There were barely any tears or a desire to leave at any point from the very start. Amazing! Was it because the kids were so eager to be around each other and in an inviting space designed just for them? Was it because the parents and caregivers had to prepare themselves to let go at the door, and on the first day? As we know, kids are extremely sensitive to what the important adults around them are feeling. Both are probably true.
Whatever the reason, I am deeply grateful for this year. Everyone is so happy and dedicated to making it work for the whole year. Winter break is almost over and I’m so excited to get back together on Tuesday in the New Year.