Favorite Daughter Wasn’t Kidding. . .

3 07 2009

and now she is gone!

We’re not losing a daughter but gaining a world traveler? She and her best girlfriend, fellow dancer and traveling companion Kiki, both declare they will be forever changed by their European adventure (and they can’t wait!) so we took plenty of photos as they were leaving for the airport, to memoralize those selves we’ll never see again [sniff, sob!]

IMG_0478

It’s as they want it, flying solo, no family, chaperones or guides, not even a travel agent to help plan and book. Nobody told me truly individual unschooling would sometimes feel so radical. But maybe it’s the parenting, period, and not any particular education method that feels like what my dad used to call the “white-knuckle trip” through life as a parent of intelligent life on planet earth.

In the beginning there was Favorite Daughter and she gave me life as a mom . . .so this is THEIR story and in truth, I guess it always been. I am more audience than author.

And at least it’s illustrated. 😀

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11 responses

3 07 2009
Beta

How great for them! That’s something I wish I’d gotten to do. We live in the heart of Europe now and we love it, but I never did the flying solo thing. Too bad I only started thinking for myself AFTER I grew up and became a mom. At that age, I was too busy worrying about finding myself a good Mennonite man to marry so I could have lots of kids and help run the family farm and live right down the road from my parents. Seriously.

I’d offer my services as a local emergency go-to person, but that probably flies in the face of all their plans. I hope they have a blast!

3 07 2009
JJ

Beta, you’re even more interesting than I first suspected! 😀

You’ve got me Googling Mennonite now. Is this faith community akin to Amish — and would you say it has any European cousin, some kind of country/rural simple agrarian (is that right?) type tradition the girls might see too, as opposed to all the majesty of the grand cathedrals I know they’ll see?

One place they were talking about last night is Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, recently from the Da Vinci Code. . .

3 07 2009
JJ

They might learn about more than religion and classic architecture while they’re visiting churches. Speaking of my usual posting power of story — mixing god and education in unholy, unhealthy authority plots [shudder] — look what I just found re Rosslyn Chapel, omg!

Rosslyn’s famous ‘Apprentice Pillar’ (or Prentice Pillar / Princes Pillar) was apparently the result of a bizarre series of events: the master mason who commenced carving the Apprentice Pillar was unable to complete the work. He went to Rome to receive guidance on finishing it.

On returning to Rosslyn the mason discovered the pillar had been completed by his apprentice.

The master mason subsequently killed his young apprentice in anger.

And along my other favorite theme — language — did you ever notice that apprentice is related to prince? I didn’t know this . . .now there’s education and governance food for thought!

3 07 2009
Crimson Wife

Hope she has a blast!

I worked as an au pair in Provence the summer between my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college. My parents were a bit apprehensive about me doing it, but it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity.

The one thing I regret is that I did not go back to Europe for a semester during college. The reason I didn’t was because I was pre-med at the time and it would’ve thrown off my schedule. The triumph of Type A overachievement mentality over real education, sigh!

3 07 2009
JJ

I already knew you were interesting CW, but I didn’t know that about you, geez.

FavD’s traveling companion is premed, wants to be an oncologist — she’s hoping to get an all-summer research internship in Paris or thereabouts for next year. Not through university but on her own. These are big dreamers like we were but I swear, they’ve got some healthy perspective I just didn’t have, about achievement and family and self and humanity . . . also courage and loyalty, all the boy scout virtues you mentioned in the other thread earlier even thought they weren’t scouts. 🙂

3 07 2009
Nance Confer

What a fantastic adventure — for all concerned. 🙂

Nance

3 07 2009
JJ

Thanks for that. Someone who recognizes what a GROWTH EXPERIENCE this is requiring from her poor mom!
😉

4 07 2009
Beta

Yes, Amish and Mennonite are related. You’ve probably learned all this from your research, but the initial split was caused over two practices — foot washing and shunning. To my understanding, both practices were… well, practiced, but those that eventually became Amish (followers of Jakob Amman) believed they should be observed much more strictly.

Interestingly, today when you hear the word Amish, you think of horse and buggy, and men dressed in black, and women dressed drably with a covering on their heads. Well, I know many Mennonite communities that you couldn’t distinguish from the stereotypical Amish image. There are Mennonite communities in which the people are pretty much indistinguishable from other members of “regular” society (although probably no mini-skirts and midriff-bearing tops or belly button rings!), and those that you would mistake for Amish if you didn’t know better.

As for witnessing that aspect of religion here in Europe, I doubt it. I do know you could find Mennonite communities in Switzerland and Germany today, but I think you’d have to head for very rural areas to find them — the Jura region in Switzerland come to mind. We live in Belgium, and I only know of two protestant churches in the province (although I’m sure there are more). Belgium is overwhelmingly catholic, although that’s usually a cultural distinction, not a religious one….

I’m thinking I should right a post about this of my own — I’ve been wanting to add more to the “secular” side of my blog…

4 07 2009
JJ

Do, please, and link it here by all means.
[ed note: and so she wrote one, about the region of Mons Belgium.]

It’s funny how things go in perception cycles, like when you’re expecting a baby, you start noticing strollers more or when you’re shopping for a certain kind of car you start seeing them everywhere. I feel like that about the history of religion, or maybe I should say religion IN history. I can’t learn anything about anything all of a sudden, without it involving something about religion. . .

4 07 2009
JJ

Belgium is going to be the main part of their trip! Favorite Daughter’s friend has family in or near Bruxelles (Brussels, right?)

6 07 2009
Crimson Wife

Oh, I’ve become much more interesting a person since I started homeschooling. Or maybe I embraced homeschooling precisely because I was more interesting than my previous lifestyle had allowed me to be. Good question…

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