Our swim instructor retired from teaching in public education but has agreed to substitute on occasion. She happened to be subbing for one of Jenna's teachers and had mentioned to me how Jenna is well liked by so many of her peers. She is admired because she is herself. She hangs on to the things she likes and disregards things she doesn't like and refuses to play games of "following the leader" unless she's the leader.
There are several times that I've called Jenna "crazy" or "weird" referring to her personality differences and not necessarily with Jenna herself. There have been a few concerned about "labeling" - but my family understands what I am saying and in many cases will agree with me.
Take today for instance: Jenna has an opportunity, along with several other honor students, to go to the cinema in the big city of Roseburg. They will see "Wonder" which we have read and I think she would like to see, but not today.
Yesterday a dental team came to the middle school to check the teeth of sixth and seventh graders whose parents had given permission to be checked. Today is the eighth graders turn. It kills me that she would even consider staying with the school in order to be checked rather than to see a movie. Man, when I was her age, skipping school alone would have been enough incentive to push me to the movies. Adding the dentist would have been even greater incentive. I don't know a child who loves the dentist more than Jenna. I've mentioned that before. But then again I would not have been in her predicament anyway as I never received the high grades that she does.
When she was in second grade, I volunteered to escort the class to Mrs. Cavanaugh's chocolate plant. That was also the day Harmon's would be doing their food samples at the school. According to Jenna, Harmon's produced the best tasting oranges. She was bummed about going to the chocolate plant rather than being present for the produce. I assured her that we would still be sampling - but it would be candy instead of produce. She still felt gypped.
Seriously? I mean, it's cool that my child actually prefers produce to candy but still . . . given a choice between oranges and chocolate - I'm going for the chocolate. When we returned to the school after having spent a glorious day at Mrs. Cavanaugh's, the representatives from Harmon's were still passing out samples and so Jenna did not miss out after all (besides from what I understand, Harmon reps were there each month or every other month; Mrs. Cavanaugh's turned out to be a one-time thing)
She says she did get to assist with foot traffic during the dental demonstration yesterday and was awarded a toothbrush or oral hygiene kit or something. Still, she would like her mouth cleaned by professionals. Silly girl. I like Jenna's uniqueness. I really do. I'm happy that she lives outside the box and sticks to her guns. When I use the words "weird" or "crazy" to describe her, it's actually a compliment.