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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Jewelry-Making Therapy

cerealFor some reason, our two daughters from Russia tend to act helpless and hopeless. I don’t know why. I try to model for them a capable, strong woman. But whenever it comes to them… they can’t, they won’t, they don’t know how….

On our few-day getaway, we brought some individual cereal boxes. I thought it might be fun for them to see what American kids have enjoyed over the years, you know, those small, perforated cardboard boxes lined with wax paper. You cut into the box in the shape of a big I, add milk, and there’s your breakfast, lol.

Well, it took our girls about 20 minutes to open the boxes. They claimed it was mini-cereal-boxesimpossible, no way to do it, ridiculous and a whole bunch of absolute nonsense. I’ve decided that I will not rescue them, but I offer helpful coaching, “You can do it. Hold the knife this way, that’s right. Cut through the top, go ahead, just cut along the perforations….”

You would think we had asked them to perform brain surgery while swimming underwater. They. could. not. do. it.

displaySo I had an idea the other day. I asked the girls, ages 15 and 17.5, if they might enjoy a jewelry-making class. It’s really not a class per-se, but more of a stop-by-the-studio-and-make-a-piece-for-yourself. With oodles of beads, rocks, glass, and metal ornaments to choose from, I thought it could spark their creativity and independence, not to mention self-confidence.

Mashenka the elder liked the idea. Sashenka nodded in agreement, but I later ferretted Jewellery-making-pliersout that she was not thrilled. So we were back to Mashenka. I offered to go with her or drop her off and let her fly solo, after introducing her to the store manager and letting her wander around the hundreds of baskets of beads. She said she would be fine on her own.

This was a major step. Major. I gave her a certain budget and said she had at least 30 minutes and then I would come and check on her. She could stay longer if she wanted. Going for my cappuccino and stroll, I returned to learn that Mashenka thrived, taking all of ten minutes to craft her masterpiece of a bracelet, chatting for the remaining 20 minutes.


This was indeed a breakthrough.

We oohed and aahed and admired her work of art worn proudly on her wrist. But most of all, we rejoiced in the wings that had sprouted, carrying her farther than my own pushing and pulling could ever accomplish.

She was soaring in more ways than one.


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