Run, Race, Relax

Paris Priore-Kim

March 3, 2017

Amid the hive of energy that sweeps across the front of Castle Hall during recess – tetherballs spiraling, sneakered feet skipping and scampering, voices rising from the swarm around the 4-square court – a small pod of girls clustered in quiet conversation on one of the broad arms of the cement staircase. Two sat with their legs crossed to make room on the slab for the third to lie down. The reclining girl's head was cradled in the lap of one of the sitting girls, so that the sitting girl could give her friend a gentle temple massage.

Clearly they were absorbed in typical fifth-grade conversation, taking turns in chatter, and moving in and out of giggles, but there was something beyond-their-years wise about the trio reflected in their gentle voices and their calm dispositions. I approached softly, hesitant to invade their peaceful space, but curious as to the secret wisdom they seemed to possess. I said to the girl whose fingers were placed deftly on the temples of her friend, "That's nice of you to take care of your friend like that. It looks like it feels good." She replied, "It does. My mother massages my head every night and it relaxes me."

There are so many insights that stem from that tiny exchange:

  • that children need an understanding of principles of self-care and space to implement them;
  • that children can and will take care of each other;
  • that wellbeing is something to monitor in our children, and something that they can monitor in themselves and support in each other.

In a world that seems to be spinning faster – though offering more options and opportunity, and also more noise and increasing demands – attending to the need to relax, to be calm and to calm, is balm to the body and soul for big and little people alike.

Comments

  • 3/8/2017 12:28:28 AM

    Paris,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful anecdote! You do such a tremendous job of modeling care and empathy, it's beautiful when you can recognize the same in others, especially children. We all need to take good care of one another.

    Mahalo!

     – Camila Chaudron


    Reply
    • 3/8/2017 4:45:43 PM

      Children often offer us the most poignant reminders of what is most essential and important, don't they? (You used to be one of those children, Camila!)

       – Paris Priore-Kim


      Reply
  • 3/8/2017 12:44:02 AM

    Well written Paris,

    With aloha, Yorcky


    Reply
    • 3/8/2017 4:50:18 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Jonathan, and thanks for your years of care and commitment to children at Punahou.

      ​ – Paris


      Reply
  • 3/15/2017 10:15:33 PM

    It's posts like these that show just how much Punahou's administration cares about their students - taking the time to observe and reflect on something that most of us would just walk past and not think twice about. Thank you!

     – Cassandra Luo


    Reply

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