When I was very young, I was tremendously shy and rarely spoke at all, especially to anyone outside my immediate family. As you might imagine, my parents quietly worried, prayed, and asked for guidance from their local expert, my pediatrician. The doctor recommended preschool, before preschool was commonplace. He reassured them that I was fine, but that having a year to adjust to school prior to beginning kindergarten would give me an opportunity to come out of my shell. Days, then weeks went by, and I enjoyed preschool very much, but I didn’t speak. During the holiday season, the teacher was preparing a craft for her little students; hand-tracings that would be assembled into a tree. She thought she heard a voice, but turned around to find only me in the room. She thought she must have imagined it and returned to her work. Then again, “I want to do that.” It was me. She couldn’t wait to tell my mother!
That year of preparation was a gift to me. It gave me a safe environment that would embrace me despite my lack of verbal communication, until I felt comfortable to talk with my new friends and teachers.
I became part of the St. Stephen’s community in 2007, when my son Alex began attending St. Stephen’s Episcopal School.