My fondest memories of childhood include those made around Thanksgiving. In many ways, that hardly distinguishes me from countless others who find joy in gathering with friends and family for an event laden with tradition, warmth, and love. However, for me, the memories are not only about a delicious meal complete with turkey and trimmings but the event that occurred the evening before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Eve significantly shaped my upbringing.
Each year, my grandparents held something of an open house. Both of my parents come from large families and I grew up surrounded by cousins. My grandparents invited everyone from our family—along with any friends who wanted to join in and the friends of their friends—and before long, their home in Waterbury, CT was chock full of people. The night was wrapped around an activity, a trivia game of sorts, that paired folks who may not have seen one another since the last Thanksgiving Eve, and the reunions were always joyful ones, reminders of the power of community and gathering.
I think about these family gatherings in advance of our Belmont Day Open House. Perhaps it is simply the name of the event itself that calls to mind opportunities to build community. Whatever the reason, I look at this mid-October event as a chance to celebrate all that we are and all that we have to look forward to. As we open our doors this weekend to welcome the next prospective Belmont Day families and students, I find myself reflecting on our current community of students and parents and their successful integration into our school community. I think about the Thanksgiving Eve gatherings as the showcase event of my childhood. Tomorrow I have the opportunity to participate in a different showcase—sharing the excellence of our faculty and our wonderful facilities as a means to an important and heart-warming end: the celebration of all of the ways in which we live our mission to inspire and challenge our students.
Open house carries with it a bit of nostalgia for those of us on campus to experience it. It is a reminder of the years gone by, made more real by the student ambassadors who were once prospective students themselves. Today, these ambassadors comfortably navigate the halls with confidence and poise—a far cry from their days of wonder at their new school with walls covered in artwork expansive spaces. Tomorrow, we will see in those prospective faces the future of Belmont Day—learners and leaders ready to make the most of their own futures.
Have a great weekend everyone,
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