Why the name Vibrant Wanderings?
Dr. Maria Montessori, who was passionate about child-led education, referred to the children in the traditional schools of her day as “butterflies pinned on boards.” More recently, Dr. Alison Gopnik wrote the following in her book The Philosophical Baby:
“Children aren’t just defective adults, primitive grown-ups gradually attaining our perfection and complexity. Instead, children and adults are different forms of Homo sapiens. They have very different, though equally complex and powerful, minds, brains, and forms of consciousness, designed to serve different evolutionary functions. Human development is more like metamorphosis, like caterpillars becoming butterflies, than like simple growth-though it may seem that children are the vibrant, wandering butterflies who transform into caterpillars inching along the grown-up path.”
I truly admire the work of both of these women and aspire to learn from my own vibrant, wandering butterfly as we journey through life together, so Vibrant Wanderings seemed to be the perfect choice.
Melissa writes from her home just outside Washington DC, where she lives and learns alongside her husband, their vibrant and curious toddler, and the sweet boy who recently joined them. Professionally, Melissa has done all sorts of things from helping with the family construction business to live music marketing to bartending, but in the end found her passion in teaching in the Montessori Children’s House. After several happy years in the classroom, she made the choice to follow that passion home, to be with her children in the early years of their lives.
These days, Melissa spends her time baking, gardening, studying, preparing toddler activities, and of course writing – both here on Vibrant Wanderings and over at The Natural Parents Network.
First and foremost this blog provides a space in which I can keep notes on these important days with my tiny family and explore my own thoughts and attitudes on issues pertinent to parenting. It is also a way for friends and family to stay connected and keep up with what’s new with the babe from afar, but I hope that it will serve as a source of inspiration and information for as wide a circle as it needs to. If one thing that I write helps one other woman on her mothering journey, all will be worth it. If I can help and inspire thousands, all the better!
I am very much a non-traditional parent, and I will never apologize for that. I love raising awareness of less mainstream ways of doing things and try to be an activist in my own, usually quiet way. My one and only fear about discussing these things is that I will end up alienating people I care about. I want to be very clear in saying that I look down my nose at no one. I have many wonderful, loving parents in my life and very few do things just the way that I do. I still have great respect for all of them. I hope that everyone understands that. I love hearing about how you do things, too!