Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quoth the Raven

We're super-fortunate to have Z-man come over a few times each week. Normally the time is filled with "What do you wanna do?" "I dunno, what do you feel like doing?" This week was a bit different. I walked in from work on Thursday and was informed that a sparsely-detailed instruction sheet was given for his class to make a family crest or coat of arms (which are apparently different - thanks, Google!). His family situation being what it is (he shuttles between his mom's and my brother's) it worked out best that he make this on his dad's shift. We pootled around online for ideas and information, and then headed to the craft store, where I was soundly informed "This is the only section in this store we're going to, and then we're leaving." The boy knows me well :)

I had a marathon sewing session on Saturday night, entirely forgetting about this crafting adventure. I had a nice sleep-in planned and in progress, when a loud voice woke me up saying "YOU!! Downstairs in 5 minutes! It's family crest day!" You may think I would have sprung right out of bed at the prospect of such an endeavor, but I whined and carried on and finally made it to the kitchen (yes, I know - HE's the kid and I'm the alleged adult. I'm quite shameful sometimes). Space was cleared, supplies gathered, and we set to work. I helped him a bit with this (I drew the crest and cut out the lion), but the ideas were all his.


The last name Rapp is of German heritage, and comes from the word for 'raven.' Hence, the raven at the top. In the German consideration of the word raven, the meaning is quite negative and ominous. So he made sure to throw in that some cultures consider the raven a trickster or a prankster, and he thinks our family is more in line with that meaning. Agreed, little man. He had to select symbols for his crest, so he wrote down the four qualities he thinks our family possesses--bravery/courage, love/caring, honesty/trustworthiness, and loyalty. The lion is fairly obvious, as is the heart. But we had to research the others. Interlocking gold rings are a symbol of loyalty, as are doves and dogs. And the pound sign? It also signifies weight. When someone is honest/trustworthy, they are said to carry weight. So there you go. He insisted (I swear - I had absolutely no input on this part though I would understand if you thought I did) that we buy pom-poms for this. He wanted yellow as well to complete the German flag colors, but you can't buy a whole bag of yellow (only black, white, and red), so we went with the yellow banner at the bottom. When deciding poster board colors he told me that there are only a handful of acceptable colors (which he listed and I forget) for the background, and he wanted green (which also symbolizes prosperity--not that we're prosperous but we're by no means wanting in any aspect of life).

The boy has at least half a dozen nationalities in his heritage, but he had to focus on his last name for this project. He wanted to do the English part so he could include something about soccer and red buses. He told me "I'm really glad we're not Russian." This puzzled me, and I couldn't imagine what bias he could have at such a young age. After a minute of thinking I said "Why? What's so bad about that?" And he said "Because you'd make me put never-ending tatertots on this and I don't want to." Yeah, another thinker. "Never-ending tatertots? WHAT are those?" And this is why I love kid-brain. Because in their unpainted form, Russian nesting dolls resemble tatertots to my nephew:


Good times, bud. Good times.

5 comments:

  1. That looks brilliant! Well done to both - the adult and you ;-) However, (and I could of course be wrong) I believe that a "Rappe" was a 14th century coin i.e. money and that's where the name came from... A raven is a "Rabe"... Sorry, hope you don't mind... I think it looks great anyway, Love from London xo

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  2. Awesome crest!! And yea,,,they do look a little bit like tots!!!

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  3. ROFL, I'm kind of sad you didn't get to put the never-ending tater tots on...

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  4. Wow, the kid's homework looks hard.(like a ton of work) Fun tho'. I'll never complain about Singapore school's homework ever again. Ok, maybe just a little.

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