Working together to help children learn and grow in a complex world
Nov. 3, 2020
Canterbury birthdays are like a warm hug
By Anne Krishnan, Marketing & Communications
I’m a big fan of birthdays - who isn’t?
I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty great ones, especially my 10th birthday, when a shared party with two other girls meant a bouncy house for all the kids in our grade. It was epic for the 1980s and something we still reminisce about today.
But nothing quite compares to celebrating my birthday at Canterbury this fall.
It wasn’t any particular milestone year, but the warmth with which it was celebrated blew me away. It all started with the daily staff attendance email, which always includes staff birthdays. The email hit inboxes just as I was walking across campus at lunchtime. First, my colleagues began calling out birthday wishes to me, and then groups of middle school students joined them with, “Happy Birthday, Mrs. Krishnan!” as well. Middle schoolers. In unison. Wishing an adult a happy birthday. And I’m not even one of their teachers or someone they see every day. I was beaming.
Weeks later, staff members have continued wishing me a belated birthday, my kids’ classmates have sent their own birthday wishes, the awesome Canterbury Parents’ Association has delivered a treat, and during our virtual all-school gathering, our chaplain read the names of those celebrating birthdays throughout the week and the whole school took a moment to wish us a happy year ahead.
In this time of disconnection, isolation, and loneliness, these kind gestures meant more to me than they ever have before.
The thing is, this kind of love for neighbors isn’t new to Canterbury -- my daughter remembers a similar outpouring on her brother’s birthday a couple of years ago. Care and kindness is woven into the fabric of the community created here over the past 28 years. It extends past birthdays to student-led surprise wedding showers (pictured), special trips to celebrate 10-year milestones for faculty members, and teachers who follow students’ interests and accomplishments through their time here and beyond.
And even as we keep our distance, our community’s love for each other has never felt more like a warm hug.
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