I had many reservations about sending Punkette into a classroom run by a nun. Fumed inside as Punkette was told she could not make the girl in the drawing have blue hair. Pinched my lips together in response to raised eyebrows due to Punkettes lack of an undershirt. Feigned excitement when Punkette produced a stick and glitter ornament that she said the teachers made. And generally just kept chugging along, ignoring the nun, and encouraging Punkette's wild creativity nights and weekends.
She's a smart girl, this Punkette. She figured out the dynamics of that classroom and how to have her way with the nun. She learned to always give her a warm "buon giorno Maestra" in the morning and a sweet "ciao Maestra" at the end of the day. And she learned to appreciate her determination, now directed in a "proper" direction. Her focus on the work at hand and attention to details. In the end, my rebel Punk and the nun fit together quite nicely.
And then came the final conference between the American Mom and the Nun. A meeting that had not gone well nearly two years prior. A meeting to discuss the report that they would pass on to her elementary school. As she started to read to me, slowly, warmly and stopping every few sentences to elaborate... I found myself in awe at the accuracy of what this habited woman said to me. These paragraphs got to the essence of who I knew my Punkette to be. How she is reserved at first but then gives her friendship enthusiastically. Her persistence when trying new things. Her eagerness to participate in classroom activities.
There were four Punkettes in that class, and these paragraphs could only be about mine. The nun had nailed her. And I felt deep appreciation for that. That, after all, this woman really was paying attention, loving, and nurturing my Punk.