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It’s Not That Easy Being Green

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“It’s not that easy being green …but green’s the color of spring and green can be cool and friendly like and green can be big like an ocean or important like a mountain or tall like a tree.”  ~ Kermit the Frog

So, it’s the first full week back to school and at the end of my work day on Friday, the Director and Fitness teacher ask me to take off my “office” hat so they can speak to me as a “parent”.

You know this can’t be good.

It’s about my 10-year old daughter of course and it seems there was an issue in her fitness class. There are 25 multi-aged children in this class on Mondays and Fridays and my little “lemon drop” happens to be the oldest. Many of the younger kids look up to her, literally. She is also the tallest kid in the school and would perhaps be, by any other standard expected to “set the example” maybe?


Okay. So, it seems my little “apple dumpling” is the only one, out of these 25 kids that said “no” and flat out refused to sign a goal oriented agreement that has the following requirements:

  1. Everyone feels safe and no one gets hurt.
  2. Everyone has an equal chance to enjoy each game.
  3. Everyone learns how to be a better team member.
  4. Everyone has fun.

Not unreasonable, in fact when queried, my little “butter-cup” said she had no problem with setting these goals as a group. She just didn’t understand why she had to sign her name to it.

Her argument:

“They know me, Mom.

I just don’t know why my ‘word’ isn’t good enough anymore.

If they don’t trust my word what difference does my signature make?

Either they trust me or they don’t.

Besides, it didn’t  say ‘pacificly’ that it was for fitness only.

I am the biggest kid — in the entire school. What if I hurt another kid by accident?”

They know her, indeed. She was welcomed by this school well before she ever spent her first full day there as a student at the age of three. From the time she was about 9-months old, she would tag along on school trips to the farm, to pick apples, pumpkins and attend theater shows with her older brother’s class. When she finally got there, it was in this fine progressive, hands-on learning environment that she was truly encouraged to be herself, to think, to ask and to imagine. She was the child who wore a communion veil to class every day for the second half of second grade, even though she never made her communion. She’s the kid who never wears matching socks and when I tell her in the morning…

“You either brush your hair or wear a hat to school,”

…nine times out of ten, she chooses the hat.

This school nurtured her, told her in no uncertain terms that she had a voice and helped her to find it, so there was really no disrespect when she said “no.” Her response, in effect was a culmination of seven years of being taught the importance of being your own person.

That day, she was told that if she wasn’t going to sign the paper, she wouldn’t be able to participate in the fitness program. She would have to sit out, and she did. That’s the price isn’t it, of taking a stand or being different, not following the crowd, standing up for something you believe in, even if you’re the only who believes in it? There could be a consequence.

There could also be a compromise, which is why I love this school.

After a few discussions with her fitness teacher (who just happens to be a former student of this fine school) the two exchanged positions and she understood the need for all the kids in the class to know they were all on the same page. She agreed to verbally acknowledge the four points and she did not have to sign her name. A resolution born out of mutual respect.

Many of the younger kids look up to her. Literally. She is after all the tallest kid in the school and the oldest and would perhaps be, by any other standard expected to “set the example”…..

……and maybe, she did just that.

She is her own person and while it may not be that easy being who she is, she’s cool and friendly like, she’s big like an ocean, important like a mountain and tall like a tree.

You can visit her blog at I’m Thinking Happy! if you like.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Photo credit #1: Kermit

Photo credit #2: ©Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

Video Credit #1 YouTube

  1. September 25, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I LIKE this school. Sure wish more could be like this. Tell your daughter to Rock On!!!!


    • September 25, 2011 at 8:49 am

      I will. Thank you, rumpydog!!


  2. rrl
    September 25, 2011 at 8:40 am

    on this day Hannah is my hero.



    • September 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

      Mine too, rrl. Thanks for reading & commenting!


  3. jen
    September 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Had a hard time keeping my tears back reading this. Thanks Karen.


    • September 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

      Thank you…Jen.


  4. Kasey
    September 26, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Wow, I love this! I find it very intriguing that she would question signing the agreement, and her reasons behind it are incredibly valid. It is also wonderful to hear that this school she is in can think outside of the paper box, hear what your daughter is saying, and recognize it with respect, and as you said, compromise. I love green in any shape or form…go Kermit, and way to stand your ground, lil’ Hannah. 🙂


  5. September 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

    WooHoo! Thank you, Kasey!!


  6. Anonymous
    September 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    l am so proud of Hannah, she stood her ground in what she believed in, great school for letting her do so,


  7. Rai
    September 29, 2011 at 8:35 am

    This is awesome! We need more people like your daughter in the world. That sounds cheesy, but I’m completely serious.
    Please don’t let anyone “break” her.

    (Teenage years are tough)

    And if she wants to graduate early from high school and spend a semester in college in Alaska, I suggest you let her go, no matter how much it freaks her out =)


    • September 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I have had the same thoughts, Rai…I pray no one ever “breaks” her spirit. Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a wonderful comment. Much appreciated!


  8. September 29, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I nominated you for Versatile Blogger Award 🙂


    • September 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you, so much! I am honored. Truly. And I LOVE your blog!


  9. September 29, 2011 at 11:22 am

    BEAUTIFUL! Good for her!
    Had to be a proud moment for you.


    • September 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      Yes. It was. Thank you “lovely”…..for reading and commenting!!


  1. June 3, 2012 at 12:01 am

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