Thursday, August 17, 2006

On preparing a dresser for painting

Today I gained a deeper insight into our youngest daughter. She is eleven and is currently more than half way across the country from us.

Dh has decided to paint her dresser in the fashion he is painting her desk and bed. My part in this is to clear out the clothing and scrape the stickers off of the outside.

I must give a little background to this girl. She was homeschooled last year in part because I knew her socializing during class was giving the teacher a pain. I also know that she has a little trouble staying 'on task' which didn't help either.

In my daughter I had also seen a flash of spirit time and again that I did not want extinguished by the wear and tear of constant harping by a teacher, regardless of how necessary the chastising might be for classroom peace.

I expected a challenge as I proceeded to work at home with our daughter.

Yes, staying on task was a challenge, but with fewer distractions, this got better. Dd got to the point where if she knew she was easily distracted that day, she'd go and work in her room. By the end of the year she was turning in very good Math and grammar assignments. This was progress!

She is also 'artsy' Nearly everything in the house has paint on it, from her being struck by inspiration, but not remembering (yet again) to protect her work surface, or clothing.

As I took clothes out of her drawers, I was first struck with her organization. Her clothes were sorted by colour rather than purpose! I suppose this makes it easier for her to make sure she matches!

I was surprised at how little detritus there was at the bottom of the drawers. Given that I frequently find her socks stuffed in strange places around the house, I figured I'd find odd things stuffed in her drawers. Not the case at all.

I did, however, find an exacto blade in one drawer and a pair of pliers in another. Not so odd for this gal. She loves to fix things and do woodwork.

Her mind is always working. She often has ways to fix things I am ready to throw out. I know this is why she can't focus sometimes. She's thinking about something far more interesting.

As I worked to clear off the dresser, things got a little tougher. What is trash and what is treasure? Beads, pretty stones, tiny dolls' shoes. Dead tissues I took the liberty of throwing erasers, math erasers, crayons...coloured craft (aka popsicle) sticks. Coloured glass. A keychain with the Blessed Virgin on it. Her crucifix from the Chapel when she was confirmed (so she DID still have it!)

There were few stickers on the dresser when it came down to it. I was thankful for that!

My girl is growing up. I can catch a glimpse into the woman she will be. Probably not like me. She will paint, drive nails, and 'putter'. She will do crafts and draw as she is already doing so well.

I do hope she remembers what she teaches herself so well now. Her prayers, her catechism, and how to appreciate little things in pieces of coloured glass.

God Bless


airforcewife said...

My second daughter is a lot like this. Homeschooling has worked so well for her and allowed her to adjust to life in our world (which is different from her world) without the trauma my sister had (much the same personality).

We use sonlight, by the way, as our curriculum. I love it - it's perfect for "artsy" readers and it doesn't have the anti- Catholic issues I found in several other curriculums.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. Children never cease to amaze me! How often do we criticize before we fully understand the intent of our children? It used to drive me nuts at Mass when GM would sing different songs while we were singing hymns. Or she would hum out of tune. I would hush and tell her to be quiet. then one day something struck me, she's five, she can't read the music, she doesn't know the song and the only thing she can do to participate is sing what she does know or hum along to the chorus if it's repetitive. But that is how she participates....she, like your daughter, is a unique bloom, crafted by God himself. It is such a shame that society tries to curb what doesn't conform!

WICatholic said...

Glad that you chose to homeschool her, and that you have gotten another glimpse of her uniqueness.