Wednesday, June 11, 2008


character: 4. the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group. *

determined: 1. firmly resolved. *

I don't often get into tons of detail about our kids - funny stories, family travels, goofiness and school events, YES. But much of who they are and what Bart and I experience with them, we keep to ourselves or phone conversations. The last month or so have been revealing for us in regards to Rachel and this is what I'd like to share. Because we wouldn't necessarily have expected the same results from her a year ago.

It is not about how well she does at anything: no awards or special talents. Her biggest talent to date probably lies in the realm of out-belching grown men - so it's not something we've advertised. She is not one to desire anything else than to be "just Rachel."

And it seems that "just Rachel" has become someone of 'determined character.'

1. Here is Rachel - right, front - leading her favorite pony, Cosima. This was Rachel's first day with this group of girls. After 6 months, the riding teacher and I thought she might be more comfortable in the earlier class as they were about the same level as Rachel's current class but less aggressive in their riding style.

As we walked up to the stables before class started, Rachel suddenly started talking: "Do you think any of the girls will speak English?" "What if I don't like this group, Can I switch back?" "What if I can't ride Cosima or Pepino?" "I really have a lot of butterflies in my stomach."

Of course, I could only give her a few assurances like "I don't know" "We'll see" "You'll have to ride a different horse" and "take a deep breath." Because I am the most helpful Mother there ever was. I was just as nervous for her - she was really out of her comfort zone - again.

She took a deep breath and shook all the girls hands (this is very proper when meeting people in Switz.). When I met her after class, she was very happy. I'm sure the birthday picnic in the woods for one of the girls helped immensely. And that there is a girl in class who is American/Swiss (teacher speaks good English but can't translate everything in class - good for Rachel's German). The girls are very nice and despite her unease - she's glad the switch was made.

2. Here is Rachel standing next to her classmate and table partner, M. Forgive me for a bit of racial profiling here but, M comes from the land of tall, beautiful, blond people. This land would include any of those Northern European countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Holland etc... We've been there - we've seen them. And they're not all blond.

It seems that I have given Rachel my "good things come in small packages" genes. So I've done quite a bit of coaching with Rachel on the size doesn't matter issue. I know how she feels and the short jokes will never go away - it's what you decide to do with them and how you view yourself. So far, she is dealing with it and not letting the teasing get her down.

3. Here she is putting her "Colored Slime" product in it's packaging. 4th grade had a Young Entrepreneurs Unit and she chose this as her product for Market Day. We had the recipe. We tried it out and it worked great. With the white glue we had left from the US of A. In order to make this in bulk, I had to buy more white glue. In Switzerland.

Let me just say that a normal bottle of Elmer's here would cost about $7 - gag, uuggghh, aachk! Then use said white glue from Switzerland in Super Slime recipe from US of A and you get Super Gunk instead of Slime. It's Sunday night and product is due at school at 9am Monday morning.

We had to experiment and throw away batches and Mom was ready to cry (plus my fingers hurt from squeezing every bit of glue out of these overpriced little bottles). We were only able to make about 1/3 of what we had budgeted/planned. Rachel's face was very still and red at one point. Then she took a deep breath and said "We didn't know the glue here was going to be so different. The test batch worked out great. I'll just sell whatever I have and I'm OK with it."

4. Lastly, violin recital. It was her turn and suddenly she couldn't find her music. She spoke with the instructor quickly who announced that Rachel would be playing from memory. They don't encourage this as the students are also accompanied by a pianist. But Rachel played through and any mistakes she made did not stop or hinder her performance at all. So - for those of you who know Rachel, I hope you share in our joy that she is standing strong and plowing through those situations that are uncomfortable. She has learned there isn't an easy way out. Not letting snafu's get her frustrated and upset. She's letting her bravery show.

She is a girl of determined character and we are proud of her.

Speaking of Character: 5. a person marked by conspicuous often peculiar traits. *

NO - THIS IS NOT ME! Interessant - definitely a character. Between this parent and the mom I watched walking her 5 year old to the car while carrying the two year old - while wearing teetering Christian Louboutin stiletto's! - I just shake my head and think HHMMMM?! And for the record - it seems that one cannot wear teetering stiletto's while carrying a toddler and walk gracefully. That's all I'm saying about that.
Rachel has character while this one IS a character!
Monkey girl. And monkey girl asleep. No wonder her head hurts! You can imagine how fun she is to have crawl into bed with you. While Bart was in Orlando, I let the girls each spend the night sleeping with me. Kendra's turn? - I was curled up in the bottom half of the bed - no use fighting it. Maybe if she ditched some of the animals so she could actually use the pillow? Naahhhh!

* Definitions from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

1 comment:

Josh & Sarah said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing! Hearing about your girls puts a smile on my face. :)