May 2021

I sometimes write for BCT – the Basel Children’s Trust Parenting Magazine. A recent topic was educating your children…I ended up sharing from our book about how living abroad deeply educated me about my children.

Here’s the article, including an excerpt from our book. Love to hear your comments!

Learning to Listen

Deciding how to educate your child or children is no easy task. We have had varied experiences, beginning with Montessori preschool, homeschooling, and then public school here in Switzerland. Each child is different as is every situation. There is no right answer. You may second guess your choice. You can always re-evaluate and even make a change later if needed. Is that ideal? Maybe not, but maybe that’s life. Not always neat and clean.

No matter what you choose, your child will go through hardship and accordingly, so will you. Hardship is part of life and part of learning. Being with your child through it, being willing to keep learning yourself, is much more important than how you educate your child.

When we moved to Basel from the United States in 2008, we opted, for various reasons, to send our kids to the local school. And I’m very glad we did. They are both now thriving.

But it was not always smooth sailing. I ended up writing about it in our book, The Trailing Spouse Reimagined, Because our daughter is quite private, before including the story about her, I asked she read it and decide if she wanted it published or not.

She did, then came to me in tears. “That’s not at all what happened mom.” And so I asked her to tell me what happened from her perspective. We cried together over what had been a really hard time for her. I rewrote the essay and it was published. Here is an excerpt of that essay.

I can now even laugh about the time my daughter, Kali, skipped school for a week when she was only 11 years old. We had traveled together to the States for her great-grandfather’s funeral. I decided to stay on for a week and visit my sisters. Kali, Ian and my husband David all came back to Switzerland. David went off to work, and a friend came to help with the kids. They came home for lunch daily (the custom in Switzerland) and so my friend was there at lunchtime and in the afternoon when they finished school. Everything seemed fine.

A couple of days before I was scheduled to fly home, David called me. He had gotten a call from the school, and apparently Kali hadn’t been at school all week. At first they thought our trip and been extended and that she hadn’t returned yet, but then noticed that her brother was in school. “What?” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it. “Not in school? Where was she? She doesn’t even know her way around!” I kept thinking of what might have happened to her. I later learned that she had gone to the woods (we live outside the city and the weather, luckily, was nice), and always came home when she was supposed to. Neither David nor our friend had any idea what was going on until the school called.

When I arrived back in Basel we spoke with her teacher and the school principal. They were so calm. “These things happen,” they said. “They do?” we replied, for we were still in shock. They reminded us to be patient with her; she had changed countries, languages, friends and so much more in the past months. She hated school. When we spoke about it she told me how hard it was for her. She had to speak in German, but when she did, especially when she had to read aloud in German class, other kids would laugh at her. She started researching boarding schools in the US, and fell into a kind of depression. And I didn’t know it. Later she told me she talked with her younger brother, which kind of amazes me, considering how much they fought at the time. But, she said he was the only one who could understand.

While I can laugh about this story now, I also feel sad when I think about how lonely Kali was, and yet, I ended up learning so much through the experience. I began to talk with Kali more often and differently. I asked her how she was doing and then shut up and listened. No more did I tell her to just be patient and give the other kids a chance. Enough with the advice, coming from me who hadn’t gone through the experience. Instead, I acknowledged her hurt, and asked her what she would do.

I’m really glad all this happened, and that i happened then, when she was 11. Through it we created a much stronger closer relationship before she became a teenager. I imagine I would have learned this lesson had we not moved abroad, but sometimes I wonder if I didn’t learn it more intensely and more quickly, because we’d all been challenged with this new situation.

June 2020



This body, it is mine. And, what of that?

Will I choose to reside within no matter what is happening there?

This body is mine, for all of time, this time.

Am I one? Mind, body, heart and soul? Am I two, three, many?

What is possible, if I connect with me, with all of me?

But what of pain and betrayal? What of sadness and loss? Can I choose to reside within with those?

Can I be at peace with my body, given all it’s put me through? All I’ve put it through? 

What is lost if I don’t? 

What is available if I do?

I’m not sure I know how. But I no longer know how not to either. For that seems self betrayal. 

Let us begin. Slowly.  Walking together. Reuniting.

As one. 


                                         —Rylla Resler


April 2020

“Mommie” Milestones

We were two, she made us three,

birthing done, new life begun, 

a family. 

Her tender, piercing gaze,

her piercing cry called my tender heart,

Felt so lost, unsure, only sure I would harm her for life.

We learned each other. We learned together. 

Her sweet determination, clear communication

No No Mommie! when I found her tattooing her thighs with markers. 

How I wanted to laugh. 

Her tenderness with her baby brother, kissing his forehead moments after he arrived. 

How I wanted to cry. 

Her strength, and again that damn determination,

this time about her style. 

She with the silver sandals,

as I fought to put her in traditional Baby Janes.

How much I had to learn from her. 

Her fierce “I HATE YOU!” written on the sheets 

which I wore as a badge of motherhood. 

Thanks to the mother who told me

If you do your job well, she will sometimes hate you.

It was my turn to learn how to stand my ground 

and yet be a soft place for her to land. 

Her teenage years began at 9, 

I hoped she’d finish early. 

Change back! Back to the sweet girl who adored her mother. 

But it was me who had to change. 

My turn to bear the brunt of her moodiness,

As my mother did mine. 

My turn to know I was her safe space. 

She could lash out, and I knew she felt out of control. 

She could lash out, and she knew I still would love her.

The hugs and affection became less, the treasuring of them more. 

The respect grew deeper. 

We worked together well, 

she the clear headed, wise one, 

me the passionate, wild one.

We worked together professionally, (a dream I hadn’t dared dream come true!) 

I learned with her. We learned together. 

She was my first and the one I “practiced” on. 

I thanked her and apologized too. 

She smiled. 

I learned from her. 

She was my first and the one I was inspired by. 

I thanked her. She smiled. 

We were two, she made us three,

birthing done, new life begun, 

a family. 

by Rylla Resler

(my mother always spelled it Mommie, and now I am honored to do so also!)


March 2020

On Cornonavirus…

Allow the anxiety. It’s natural. 

Feel it fully.





Be strong. 

Be resilient. 

Be calm. 

For yourself, for others. 

Be wise; let others worry. 

Make your choices, wise and thoughtful, and trust yourself about them. 

Go on about your life. 

Don’t put your life on hold. 

Even as you choose to skip this event, or change these plans. 

Live with this. 

Live through this. 

Live through this. 

Others have before you and will after you. 

You can, most likely will. 

The question is, will you be at choice? Aware? 

Still engaged and savoring life?

Or letting it happen to you?

Up to you.