Quirks and Comparisons

I like to sing…and hum…and randomly harmonize with the radio…pretty much all the time. I grew up with a mom who embarrassed me like crazy, singing at full voice along with the overhead music in the grocery store. And my eight-year-old self was mortified! (So were my six-year-old and eleven-year-old selves and all those other years in between.) And yet here I am, a constant singer, usually totally oblivious to the fact that I’ve been humming for an hour. It’s a quirk of mine and my family thinks it’s normal. Mommy always sings…isn’t that what all mommies do?

A few months back I babysat my friend’s kiddos by myself. It was late, so my kids stayed at home this time. The three of us sat down to play games on the floor and after just two minutes, the little boy looked at me with a strange expression and asked, “what ARE you doing?” It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about because, of course, I was unaware of my emerging quirkiness as I sat and hummed during our game. My explanation apparently seemed weird to him that I just like to sing a lot. His mom doesn’t share this particular quirk. There aren’t people walking around singing, singing, singing all the time at home for him. My normal, and my family’s normal was definitely NOT his normal.

So, back to playing games we went. About two more minutes passed and both kids looked up at me and asked, “why are you singing again?” Again, here I was, totally oblivious, but inwardly I laughed. This friend of mine is very different from me in lots of ways: she loves competitive swimming, I hate water on my face…she is very bold and outspoken whereas I’m more often introverted and shy…and so forth.  But it’s none of these other differences that get to them. It’s my weird quirk, my perpetual singing.

Since then I’ve had a new appreciation for these seemingly silly little differences and also for my family and friends who are so accepting of my quirk. (And I have to be honest…often the highlights of my mommy-days are hearing my kiddos in the back of the car start to break into their own little songs…too cute and so much fun!)

Whether it’s something silly like this or something bigger like a bold personality versus one lesser so, it’s so easy to get into comparison mode, thinking the other person functions better than I do in whatever capacity.   It’s a mindset that gives greater credence to someone else’s “normal”.  But that funny little moment, with the little perturbed and confused face of a five-year-old looking up at me is such a great reminder to me that I am me for a reason…and my family is put together for a reason. God put a love for music in my heart and an understanding of music in my mind that helps make me, in part, who I am. I have a tough time separating who I am, who God has designed me to be, from musical expression. Quirks and all, it works for us. Good thing too, because I think it may be just about impossible for me to stop this one…not that I’d ever want to!

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