Home > Faith and Spirituality, parenting, raising girls > How do you solve a problem like Maria?

How do you solve a problem like Maria?




Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!


In so many ways this song reminds me of Halle… not that she’s the eternally cheerful Maria from the Sound of Music… not even close. She can be so negative sometimes. If one part of the day doesn’t go well, the entire day is ruined, no matter how fantastic the rest of it was. It makes me want to wring her pretty little neck until her head pops off her shoulders.


But then there’s this other side of her that just leaves me in awe. She sticks up for others and tries to keep peace between friends & classmates, even though it often leads to her getting in trouble with them. She stands by her principals, even in the daunting face of peer pressure. Since first grade, Halle has participated in her school’s Buddy Club*. In third and fourth grades, she was nominated to be a conflict manager for the school’s peer mediation program, where she helped students from lower grade levels resolve minor conflicts during lunch recess.


The first week of school, Halle came home talking about a new student named Becky, who is an ESL (English as a Second Language) student. Halle had a list of common words & phrases a teacher had let her borrow; she wanted to make a copy of it with the scanner. I went over to the bookcase and pulled out the English/Spanish dictionary I bought when Tyler was in dual-language program, and hadn’t been used since we moved from the district where he went to kindergarten, happy it was going to get some use. It reminded me of the little girl who spoke only French joined Tyler’s afternoon kinder class. Always fascinated by languages, he took her under his wing and according to his teachers, was instrumental in helping her learn English.


This could easily turn into a rant about the lack of foreign language instruction in primary grades, so lemme redirect! In two email exchanges, Mr. 4th Grade has mentioned how much he appreciates how Halle has befriended Becky. Needless to say, I’m very proud of my girl’s “helping hands” but it makes me wonder how a child with such a generous spirit can be such a pessimist.


Maybe this hyper-sensitivity is not only what makes her so sensitive to others, but also why she takes the little “downs” so deeply to heart and makes it hard for her to focus on the good things. Maybe helping her count her blessings would go a long way in helping her develop a more positive outlook. Goodness knows I probably don’t vocalize my joys with nearly the frequency with which I do my sorrows. I’ve mentioned in a couple other blogs where I had a “ding ding ding” parenting moment, how the example I set speaks louder to my children than anything I tell them.


*Buddies from each grade level assist special needs students before school, during specials, recess, lunchtime, and field trips. The Buddy Club fosters friendships, acceptance and understanding between special needs students and their peers. It also allows opportunities for socialization and improves communication skills.



  1. Becky
    August 24, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    You wrote this one for me, right? I spell her name S-y-d-n-i. 😉

    This mama needs to learn to vocalize her blessings and not let a little thing throw off her day, too.

    • August 24, 2009 at 9:46 PM

      LOL no girl… I wrote it for me. But I have noticed that we’re usually “right there” in the same place like that pretty often!

  2. August 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Emotions are the devil…LOL. When you got ’em and they rule the roost, it is often hard to seperate them….and/or get them under control. Kim and I are very much like that. 🙂

    • August 24, 2009 at 9:47 PM

      Ugh… I don’t even want to think about full blown hormones, girl!

  3. Eiball
    August 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    🙂 She is already a true UU! Funny how the kids get it so much easier than their adult counterparts.

    Her birthday buddy can be very much the same way.

    • August 24, 2009 at 9:50 PM

      Amen 😉 sister! It’s humbling how much much more clearly they see some things…

  1. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM

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