When I was building my business from the ground up, naming it was a top priority. I wanted to make sure I chose something that reflected my company's values of playful learning and felt unique and personal. In this article, I'll tell you about how I brainstormed names with friends and family and ultimately decided on "Playful Acre." When my school and brand were materializing and transforming from a dream into a tangible business and finding its direction, it wasn't me who came up with the name. I was ready to wrap it in with my Photography Company and call it Meadowsweet Preschool. But then my husband came to me with the idea of "Playful Acre Preschool," which morphed into "Playful Acre Childcare" Before eventually landing on our name. Playful Acre. But why? Well, that story is its own whirlwind of a pivot. But I'll give you the Reader's Digest version for now. But it embodies the core of why I love our home and how we got here. If you haven't already figured it out, our home sits on exactly one Acre of land. We purchased our home from my husband's Great Grandmother in the summer of 2019, closing on both the sale of our starter home and purchase of our current home the week after my grandfather died after a long, hard battle with atypical Parkinson's. Let's just say. It was an emotional month. And that's not all; I had to commit or lose the opportunity to purchase the home sight-almost-unseen. The property was in preparation to be listed on the market when they realized that we might be interested and asked us if we'd like to purchase it (we were already house shopping with our fantastic realtor, Miranda Beyer, and prepping our house for market). Of course, it couldn't be simple, though. We had about an hour to decide. And we couldn't see it first either; long story short, there was a 24-hour clause and a contract to list, and we had to commit NOW. So we got on google street view, and I saw the beautiful land. The private, dead-end street. The tree grove, the wood-lined, private yard. Just everything. I may not have been able to see inside, but I was promised there was a bathtub that my 6-foot tall self could comfortably soak in (my ONLY requirement for the new house), and I took a leap of faith. And I cannot dream of a better decision. Because this little paradise we call home became the perfect escape for my 3 boys (my son and 2 nanny kids) to escape and explore and to get a change of scenery. Getting out of their house gave us a chance to be loud without worrying about work-from-home parents and the new dynamics of nannying with both parents home. It allowed us to get muddy and try new, anxiety-inducing skills without mom having to lose sanity in the middle of her workday (because that's why we compliment each other so much!). And it brought me back to myself. After years of feeling disconnected from my inner child, my values, and what makes me feel at peace-i found a way to connect with nature again. And set me up for my Pivot without even knowing it. I found myself remembering the roots of my education, the magic of childhood, and the beauty of nature each day we spent at home. I, like many people, dove into my garden. I went from .33 acres with completely infertile, shady, rocky soil to an Acre of possibilities. I learned what was here; I planted new things. I killed a lot of plants. But the most important thing I did was spend time outside. Everyday. My boys would dig in the woods or make mud pies for hours on end. And I am so thankful for those days at home with them. Because amidst all the fear, trauma, pain, and anger I have felt over the past year and a half--This little Acre helped me find myself. And I am excited about the future it holds for children across Cincinnati and beyond as we develop our program. Grow. Learn together. And most importantly- celebrate each moment of childhood for what it is. And nothing more. Because this is the good part, so don't skip it. So that's how we got to Playful Acre, both the name and the truth of why this little Acre of land is so unique and such a magical place for children to experience childhood.
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