Reflections on a Montessori pre-school weaving project
Monday, December 19, 2005 at 08:01AM
Political Mammal in My personal history

I recently received through the mail some memorabilia that had been languishing in a box under a workbench in the unfinished back room of my parent’s basement. One small item I noticed was a project that I had undertaken at Jarrow, the Montessori pre-school I attended when I was four to six.

The item in question is a block of wood—about a five inch cutoff of a two-by-four—with a small weaving attached to it. It has a row of small nails on each end to make it a tiny loom (the warp ends were threads tied to each nail.) For the weft—the horizontal threads that interlace with the vertically aligned warp—I used a number of different colors and thicknesses of yarn. It has altogether the look of a kid’s project. After I finished, and I am not sure if this was the teacher’s design, I drove the nails into the wood to affix the weaving to the wood permanently.

That little weaving is a familiar object, one that I have noticed from time to time through the years. But I looked at it with new eyes this time. I showed it to my daughter, now three and half, who also attends a Montessori pre-school. She had some interest, as she does in any of the hard-to-believe stories that her parents once were kids.

I paused to reflect upon what that object symbolized to me—that my daughter is moving past that initial phase of life, which, important as it is, seems to leave no direct memories. That she is growing up, doing projects of her own (drawings and the like) that she will be able to recall in years far down the road. And that for the first time, she has reached a time in her life that I can remember in my own.

Article originally appeared on Political Mammal (
See website for complete article licensing information.