It has been a good long while since my last post, but most of you know why… somehow I decided to start my own business. How did this even happen!? Sometimes my head is still spinning, and other times, it just makes perfect sense.
When last I wrote, we had just moved to Amarillo, and we were celebrating our first big holiday with lots of Halloween shenanigans around town. The truth is that Amarillo is a great place for our little family. We have quickly made some great friends, most of them families with little ones around the same age as our monkeys.
Sometimes, it seems crazy that we are only going on 5 months of living here, because we already feel so rooted to the community. Our previous life in Miami and Jersey seems so distant and different. It is crazy how that happens. We blame having kids. Basically, you blink and things change.
During the past 5 months, Daddy has been settling in to his new job, and the kids and I have been getting to know the people and places of this town. Like most stay-at-home parents, I want my little ones to have regular interactions with other children (and I need interactions with other adults too) so I quickly discovered the things to do with children around Amarillo, like the best museums, libraries, play grounds, and indoor play areas. I found a developmental gymnastics center and music classes for the kids. And we take turns hosting or going to play dates with our best friends.
When I hosted my first playdate, the early childhood educator in me declared it would be a story/playdate, and then of course I planned for it. I actually wrote out a plan. Complete with which songs and finger plays to sing, books to read, and when to imbed some Spanish and Sign Language. When the day came, it didn’t play out perfectly, but my mom friends said they wanted more.
And then over time and several conversations, some of my friends convinced me that there is a niche for me to offer book-based enrichment classes in Amarillo, caregiver and me style. After much brainstorming, I nervously and carefully described my vision to my hubby, and he loved it too! I jotted down some of the key words associated with my vision and what stood out were “story” and “spark”. And so, Story Spark was born!
Can I admit that in the past we had always talked about how my educational background and years of teacher/supervisor/parent trainer experience have prepared me for something beyond the classroom? We wondered if I might someday oversee my own school or at least the early childhood programs of a school or school system, but with the birth of my own kids, that dream shifted. I didn’t want the stress, commitment, and hours associated with it. I want to be home for our kids.
When I think about Story Spark, I smile because I have found something that will provide me balance in my life and will benefit others too. In January, I will offer my first official classes as a business owner, at a space I am renting from another local business. Once we get those started, I’ll start planning beyond that: growing to offer more classes in the fall, adding a Spanish class, partnering up with other local businesses and schools to bring great story experiences to other children and families, and maybe actually owning my own space for classes.
Isn’t it crazy how life sort of makes plans for you?
Thank you to all my friends and family for your amazing support. If you want to learn more, please read the Story Spark page, and follow @storysparkkids on Facebook and Instagram.