Something to wRite about…
I grabbed my keys the other day as I was headed out to the store. It was the first time I stopped and looked at my keys and I felt how light they were. Let me tell you first, I don’t drive much anymore since I started working from home a few months ago so I guess it never clicked.
On my key chain right now is my house key, mailbox key and my car fob, along with some trinkets that I have received as gifts from families over the years. Going back a year ago, I would have had about 8 keys and a fob. One house key and at least 7 keys for work. I stopped in my tracks and reflected on why I had so many keys during that time and decided it was time to write about why I felt so deeply holding those keys in my hand.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this point and even at that, it’s hard for me to even think back, but then every little thing I’ve done since that day has triggered me and I’m flooded with gratefulness of where I am now and why that is and that maybe it’s time to slowly start sharing what has happened over the last few years a to bring me to where I am today.
It all began in 2012, I started to rent a space at a church in Kelowna for my preschool program. A program I dreamed of opening for so many years. When I first opened up I needed two keys, one for the front door and one to my preschool room door inside the building. Soon I needed another key to lock the cabinet inside with all the private paperwork which is typical, so not a big deal.. Then slowly the keys kept getting added over the years… first, I needed a gate key for the outside play yard as people would start going into the play yard and I would have garbage and random debris to clean up. Once I came in and it looked like someone had a party. There was a lawn chair, some deflated balloons hanging on the tree, a ceramic squirrel in the tunnel, (I think it was a garden decoration) just all placed accordingly. It looked kinda fun, although I had to take it all down and dispose of it.
Locking the gate did seem to detour them from getting in for a little bit….
A short time late, I got this awesome playhouse for the children, it was like a little hobbit house as some people called it. The children loved it so much!
It was a great hiding place to hide stuff, or from other children playing hide and seek, hide from the spray of the hose or to hide from me- you would often hear “you can’t find me Angela!”
They would load it full of toys and try to squeeze in, climbing over, under and in between all the items. They would bring the plastic kitchen and chairs into the house and make food and serve it to everyone. They would bring the tubes into the house and peer out the window and shoot balls from the tubes at passer byers laughing endlessly.
They would climb the roof and stand on the top and shout, “I can see the whole entire world from here.” They would gather on the roof and sit and talk, tell stories, encourage their peers to join them (or to tell them to get off!). They would help each other get up and down, guide them carefully with the rules of the roof. They would work as a team to build with the milk crates to stack them to use them to get to the top. They would roll the tunnel over to the side of the house and use a 2x4 or the “sawing log” to stabilize the tunnel so they could get up. They would cheer on each other as they tried so hard to get up. They would throw balls from the roof and yell, “Angela, who threw that ball!?” (As I would pretend not to see)… then laugh so hard with glee that it was actually them.
They would prop wooden boards and slide down them from the roof. Some children really wanted to try and were hesitant or scared. Others would give them words of encouragement telling them, “you can do it! You just gotta…” slowly the ones that were ready would finally get up and then sit on the top of the slide and not go down, however the look of accomplishment on their face was a story to be told, but then they would end up coming down the way they got up as they weren’t ready to go down the slide. Others would squeal in delight they made it and whiz down the slide over and over again.
Whenever A was on the roof, he would tell us he could see his grandparent’s apartment building from there (he would always point this out to everyone) and he would look over there and yell, “Lola I can see you!” This was always a fond memory when A came to preschool. I would often climb up and sit and look over at the apartment building and wonder if Lola was there after both him and his sister went off to “big kid” school.
One day when A was on the roof, I said to him, “I wonder what I will do without you next year when you go to Kindergarten? I am excited that I will have M (his sister) next year though, so I will still get to see you.”
A replied, “she will go to my school soon.”
Angela, “Well, I get to have her at preschool for two more years first.”
A, “I will be at Waldorf then M will come and I will be in high school then college then I will work after that.”
Angela, “Will you get married too?” A, “Maybe. Maybe I will marry a woman. I can marry whoever I want. I can do whatever I want. Maybe I will marry M. I really like my sister.”
Another child was listening and said, “you can't marry your sister!”
A yelled back, “I can marry whoever I want! Well, first we have to travel then we will get married. We will have a wedding and then we can have babies. Maybe a boy.”
These are the memories I wanted to cherish forever....... however, they were tarnished when the magical playhouse became a place where the window had to be boarded up and a lock placed on the door and locked up at the end of the day to keep people out at night.
And that’s when the next key was put on my key chain….
Last night when I went downstairs to put something away in the preschool I was in awe of the sunlight shining through the windows and how magical it looked lighting up the recently painted room ~ my heart skipped a beat and I thought ~ this is my space ✨
I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t have to ask for permission or just wing it and see if anyone will say anything 😅
I am extremely grateful for my 9 years at the church space where Serendipity started. They gave me the opportunity to have (at that time) a safe space to open the preschool program I had dreamed about opening for so long.
They were very facilitating, supportive and helpful for the first few years when I was building my program and we maintained a decent relationship during the years, that was until the last year and a half/two years, the support diminished greatly and ultimately they ended up pulling the carpet from underneath me and evicting me with just over a months notice, giving 32 families the bad news their children couldn’t come in September- and having to find alternate childcare. It was devastating for me to deliver the news.
At the time my world felt like it was ending and that my program may have to close indefinitely. I am a believer that things happen for a reason, however, in that moment I felted defeated and broken. And in the same breath I decided not to let them get the best of me. I went down with my head held high and determined.
We were fortunate enough to sell our family home and purchase again with the space to open my preschool from my home. This came with lots of stress, sadness, anger, resentment, and uncertainty.
Last night as I basked in the sunlight coming through the windows, I reflected on the last year when it all began and thought about how thankful I am for my blessings and this new space where I can feel safe, confident and extremely fortunate to offer Serendipity to this new community and those following me from Kelowna ❤️
Angela Roy, Early Childhood Educator
My family moved to Lake Country in November 2021. After 9 years of operating my preschool from downtown Kelowna, I opened up my preschool from my home in February 2022.
I will often post on my preschool Facebook page stories about my preschool and things we are doing etc. But then I decided I should utilize my webpage and start writing on here. I am in no means a professional writer, but wanted to give it a shot. There may be grammar and spelling mistakes, and I’m ok with that (please do not shame me for this!)
This is me, in the moment and sharing a part of my life alongside my preschool program. Feel free to comment and share your words with me if you choose. Happy reading ✨