Three years ago I sent a blind email to an interesting person who would later become my business partner and friend. How can I turn 3 years full of funny stories, deeply personal experiences and lots of play into a short blog post?
It's so funny now to look back at where we started... the months of near-daily meetings and visioning sessions where we were just trying to figure out what it meant to be playworkers, what we wanted for our community, how our unique life experiences had led us on this path and how insanely lucky we felt to have found a partner in one another.
In 3 years our families changed, our visions changed and our skills and reach in CU grew and grew.
Together we created an Adventure Play After School program where the beauty of child- directed play is a daily reminder of why we chose this path.
Together we created a non- profit organization that has now impacted over a thousand individuals in our cities-- and that number continues to grow!
Together we've worked to advance a mission so close to our hearts.
Together we've hosted a national conference which brought in people from around the country to learn and grow.
Together we've broken through every boundary we ever came across and pushed this movement forward- one small step at a time.
Together we've rejoiced in our successes and comforted each other in our losses.
Together we've created a legacy for ourselves in this community.
Together we've given children the gift of a time and space where they are in charge.
Together we've learned from the children around us.
Together we've observed and reflected on countless personal play moments of our smallest friends.
And together we've enjoyed a beautiful 3 years full of sweet moments and countless laughs.
Naomi-- This journey has been crazy, amazing, challenging, fulfilling and full of millions of tiny moments of bravery for both of us. What a whirlwind full of mutual love, respect and admiration. I feel so fortunate to have had you by my side these last 3 years. As agreed, I won't ever say "goodbye". Instead I'll say "see you soon" and wish you well on your next journey which will require daily tiny steps of bravery. You've got this! And I'm here for you as a cheerleader, consultant, reflection partner and friend on whatever project comes next for you!
So much love, admiration and the absolute best wishes on the next chapter for the Sukenik family in California,
*****Read On for Naomi's letter to Kelsey***
Kelsey, what can I say...granny! These past few years have been an adventure! We started with nothing and we built a strong foundation not only of KOOP but of our friendship. Not only did we create an amazing platform for self-directed play and a community that understands its value, we created a partnership of respect and value. Both have continued to thrive since the beginning and now because of this KOOP is sky rocketing to whole new dimensions.
These years we have spent planning, envisioning, laughing, deciding, figuring it out, doing, making it happen, laughing, reflecting passionately, joking, and more laughing.
No one has ever been able to finish my thoughts or sentences quite like you... No one has been able to know what I’m thinking without even saying it. We have been so synced for so long and I'm sure there will be no partner that is like you- like us!
Thanks for being part of this journey with me, thanks for making sure KOOP continues its legacy!
I am here as a partner, someone to talk things out with, a friend, and now to reminisce. Wait, is it tweak or twerk?