I carry around in my heart and mind a flame of gratitude for each parent who has chosen to join us on this journey we call Acton Academy. Maybe that’s why I feel I’m on fire.
As much as I love the young people in our community, it’s really the parents who grab my heart.
Because parenting is hard enough when you know the path, have instructions and advice from experts and can relate to your child’s school experiences because they are so similar to yours.
But to embark on a path in which there is no precedent or tradition to guide you is a different kind of parenting.
It’s upside down.
Yes it’s adventurous, heroic and sacrificial like just about all parenting but it also turns the usual on it’s head and ushers in a new kind of scary to parenting which is scary enough in the first place.
The Acton parenting journey includes entering the dark recesses of unknown territory and and facing the beast of honest accountability – both easier to avoid in large, bureaucratic systems. And then there is the simple but frightening reality of standing outside the rushing river of cultural tradition just to jump in and swim alone upstream.
This upside down parenting is grounded not in techniques delivered by a parenting magazine or staff of experts but in a clear love for the human spirit and trust in each child’s genius. The roots of such parenting are strong tangles of humility and courage which hold steady when the winds of doubt and struggle take hold.
If you are reading this and our paths have crossed in any capacity along the Acton way, please know I light a candle in my heart for you. We have made many mistakes along the way and I am grateful beyond words for the forgiveness that accompanies the courage, optimism and joy of an Acton parent.
My bottomline, resounding message to parents is simply: “Thank you.”