Stacy leaned against the door frame and watched her daughter sleep. She was above the covers and would get a chill soon. Stacy was debating if she should go in and cover her up or if that would risk waking her. And right now sleeping Daisy was the best kind of Daisy. Her husband George came up behind her and put a hand on the back of her neck. "What are we going to do with her?"
Stacy sighed and leaned back in to George. "Survive. That's what we are going to do."
"How did your parents do it? I can't imagine it was any easier with you?"
Stacy laughed quietly, "I would be insulted, but it's true. It wasn't. And they sent me to boarding school at 12 and welcomed me back home at 18."
"That seems kind of cold."
"It is the Wilder way. And it could have been worse. They sent me Couraboton. My mother went to St. Agnes of Farenholt. That would have been a nightmare."
"You say these names like I should know what they mean."
"There are three main choices that can be made for schooling. There is Couraboton where order and quiet are cherished and St. Aggies where the strongest survive and then, of course, homeschooling. Usually the religious go for that. We weren't particularly religious so that was never a consideration for me."
"If your mother went to St. Aggies why did she send you to the other?"
"She thought you weren't strong enough?"
Stacy laughed again, "Oh no. She was afraid without constraints I might get too strong. Strong without boundaries is an issue. And she was probably right. Though I chafed against the rules at Couraboton it did teach me quite a bit. And the one scandal I was caught up in made my mother feel as though I had proved her point. After all if I was going to get in trouble at Couraboton I would have been incorrigible at St. Aggies."
"Scandal? Oh do tell, my wild Wilder girl."
"So, you know how Daisy reacted tonight? That is what Couraboton is actively trying to teach control over. It's the temper flashes. The teen girl attitude on steroids part. Well they work to tamp that down. The buildings are designed to instill control. And each girl is given a necklace that you are to wear at all times. There was a Latin phrase on it about conducting yourself with control above all else. And the only time you took it off was in supervised areas, where if you lost control someone was there to mute the response. You can see how badly it could go if you lost control alone."
George thought back to earlier in the evening when he had been helping Daisy with her homework. She had been getting more and more frustrated and was starting to lose her temper. He had told her to take a deep breath and calm down and they would try again. Which was when their youngest child had come running in to the kitchen, bumped the table, and knocked over the glass of soda Daisy had been drinking. As the brown liquid spilled across her math homework Daisy melted down. Thank goodness right at that moment Stacy had walked in the door from work. She got everything stopped, cleaned up, calmed down and situated within a few minutes. Daisy was sent to the back yard to calm down. Paisley was kissed and fussed over to stop her from crying then sent in to the other room to play until dinner. And George's arm was examined to make sure the burns were superficial.
When your daughters were Wilder lineage the teenage years brought on their powers. And when they came in, they came in hot. So to speak. The wild fire had erupted from Daisy and would have burned the table and possibly the house down if Stacy hadn't frozen it in its tracks. As it was just the hairs on George's arm were singed. But it was the final sign that Daisy was in puberty and would need to be educated in more than just math.
"So my junior year I discovered that the necklaces had to be activated to work as dampeners. I, let's say, came in to possession of one that had never been switched on and started wearing it instead of my official necklace. So I had access to my powers while no one else did. It led to being able to make things go my way more often than not. It took them awhile to figure out what was happening.
When we were sitting in the headmistress's office discussing my punishment she snarled at my parents that 'this sort of thing might be okay at someplace like St. Agnes...' then my mother got to inform her that she was a St. Agnes alumna and the entire reason she had sent me to Couraboton was their reputation for being able to control their school. If they could not handle one teenage girl then perhaps their reputation was undeserved and should be corrected in the public record.
It was an uneasy detente. My mother was basically telling her that she would let every one know that I had found a way around centuries of work on power dampening procedures. An agreement was reached. I could not tell anyone in school about the necklace. I had to do volunteer work with the younger students, some parents sent their daughters long before puberty as a precaution and, of course, I had to give up my contraband necklace. But by then I had figured out how to control myself with or without the dampening effects of the school or the jewelry so it didn't matter.
My mother told my father that if they had sent me to St. Aggies I would have been running the entire organization by graduation. That was the St. Aggies way. The strongest destroyed the weakest. Power will out. My mother did not agree that that was the way it should be. She had spent her years there protecting those that were not as strong as she was. She was worried I wouldn't be as kindhearted."
"That's a little harsh. You are extraordinarily kind."
"Now maybe. But not then. I was extraordinarily strong and I had very little patience for anyone who was not. Now I see that strength needs kindness to balance it out. But I needed to learn that. Couraboton helped me get there, ironically it was my punishment and working with the young girls who were sent away before they even had a taste of power that got me there. That was where I realized that being kind was a different kind of power and strength."
"So how soon do we need to make a decision?"
"Soon. I had already scheduled a visit with Couraboton for next week. I will call tomorrow and see if we can move it up a few days. But I think as a day student, not a boarder. Between her necklace and me I think she will be okay."
"Should we put her under the blankets? She's going to get cold."
"Do you want to risk waking her?"
George remembered the fire erupting around her earlier today, "Maybe not. She can cover herself if she gets cold. She won't hurt herself if she falls will she?"
"No, she'll be fine."
And with one last loving look at their daughter George and Stacy left her to her dreams while she floated two feet above her covers.