Finding Hope in 2021

When Four-Rings Connect: four community members talk about being full of hope in 2021.

It's hard not to be hopeful about the future

We are in the life-affirming business of working with children between the ages of 3 and 12. I look at the children and think about what is possible — they make me believe that something better is around the corner. I see in them the reasons to make sacrifices and endure things for the greater good. I know these children will grow into caring individuals who want to make a difference, and they very much believe they can.

Montessori is built on the notion that the world is interconnected

We definitely live that here. In June, we had a Montessori classroom open. You have never seen happier, more joyful human beings. Children leaping out of cars so lit up with excitement to see other children, to be back on campus, in classrooms that they love with Guides and adults they love. It was so energizing. It was by far the highlight of my summer, and I couldn't stop talking about it to anyone who didn't have the privilege to see this. It was a sign of life again. It showed us how hungry they were for that connection. 

Our community came together

Our parent community has been overwhelmingly thoughtful, respectful, supportive, and generous in both big and small ways. The children have been champs at wearing their masks and washing their hands copiously. They are mindful because they are so happy to be together. Our entire community is willing to endure anything less than ideal because they care about being together. Our community's support allowed us to do our absolute best to serve our children, our families and take diligent care of our people. It's so gratifying, and it helped sharpen my focus on what we are here to do and what matters most. I'm never not hopeful about the future. 

The Magic House 2021 – and beyond 

We’ve made considerable investments in updating the museum to make it a safe place, now and for the future. This positions us well for 2021to serve families both inside and outside. My purpose is to make sure the Magic House stays open for future generations. 

Reinventing the Magic House  

One of the unexpected silver linings that came out of 2020 was creating virtual field trips. We now have an entire virtual side to the Magic House that would have never existed. We reach rural schools as well as schools across the county; East Coast schools are registering for our programs. I’m hopeful about The Magic House's incredible reach and impact. It has really been a blessing. 

Partnering to Make a Difference

I am hopeful about finding new ways to make a difference in children's lives. Our work with the Dana Brown Charitable Trust showed us what is possible. The Foundation reached out to us in April to help engage children in urban areas. We put together kits of hands-on materials that children could construct to create toys, games, or activities. We distributed over 2,000 kits. It meant so much to me that the Magic House could provide hope and happiness to kids. 

Looking forward in 2021 

There is nothing like sitting across a table and sharing a glass of wine or a great conversation. There is nothing that replaces being around family and friends. I am hopeful that we will continue to have a heightened sense of community. 

Recognizing who and what is important  

This past year reminded us how important it is to be more present in the moment. Life goes by so fast, and kids may move away. My wife and I were empty nesters, and 2020 brought two birds back to the nest. I developed a different kind of appreciation for my family as we went through 2020 together.

Solutions for a Happy Life  

I’m hopeful that we will continue to take care of our team and our clients. Our company purpose is “Solutions for a Happy Life.” Many of our clients are in the hospitality industry. Last spring, we looked for ways to support them. We bought a bunch of gift cards from local restaurants and passed them out to others. Watching so many people give in such generous ways is when I am proud to be a part of this community: seeing people step up and do whatever they have to do to support their neighbors.

A new family dynamic  

For me, 2020 changed the family dynamic. There was a premium placed on being out in the open and doing things as a family. I found myself having conversations with my kids that I otherwise wouldn’t have had, which in and of itself is a blessing. I can only hope that happened for every other household, too. My hope for 2021 is that the family nucleus remains a focus.

A new resurgence in our community  

I’m hopeful for an incredible snap-back and a huge resurgence, but with a new perspective. 2021 will bring an incredible desire for human interaction. The leisure and restaurant industries that were the hardest hit will be the first to see that snap-back. And I hope it is a huge resurgence, almost to the point where there may not be enough capacity to serve all the demand.

The anticipation of something new on the horizon 

We are lucky to be in a vibrant metro area. Driving through Kirkwood and walking around in our communities feels hopeful: people are upbeat and positive. I’m hopeful about “what’s next.” Some of our best and brightest companies came out of tough economic times. People are at home right now in their garages, creating the next big thing, and we don’t even know what that is. Here is what I do know — it will be launched through a virtual platform. We’re trying to figure out a way to send the new car scent of a 2021 Audi virtually. 

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