Monday, May 7, 2012

Embracing the Quirks



The quirks are what make people interesting.  And not necessarily the kind of "interesting" that my grandmother used to use as a polite definition for something less than palatable, but the kind of "interesting" that makes people, well, the characters that they are - who they are.  I'm pretty sure we all have quirks, some more obvious than others, and if you think you don't, then you're a big ol' liar.  (For the record, I have no quirks...) 

Samantha sure does have her quirks, and I love most all of them.  Some of her quirks come and go in phases, which are the ones I think I find the cutest.  Mainly because I know we won't be stuck with them for very long...  For example, when she was about 2 or 3, she used to try on different laughs and smiles, feeling out the ones that got the best reactions or that felt right to her.  And as cute and adorable as they were for the moment, boy, am I glad some of those didn't stick...

On Wednesday, Samantha said she wanted to bring the blue-fluffy-thing-on-a-stick-cat-toy to school for "show and tell."  They don't actually have show and tell in Kindergarten, and if they did, I think her participation in the ritual would be a whole lot more show than tell.  I stopped her at the door and told her the kitties needed to keep it at home so they could play with it (okay, so that was a little fib - they're too old and lethargic to drag their sorry butts down to the basement litter boxes, or to even clean themselves, let alone play with a toy, but that's beside the point).  Thankfully, she was happy with that suggestion. 

On Thursday she insisted on wearing one of her pink gardening gloves to school, saying she needed to do some gardening.  Just one.  While I came close to yanking it off of her before walking out the door, I had to remember that all children probably go through stuff like this, and I should just pick my battles.  After all, what would it possibly hurt?  I was pretty sure she wouldn't be able to hold a pencil, but maybe that would be enough of an impetus to get her to take it off eventually.  Maybe her classmates would make fun of her.  But given the strange things I've seen them all wearing and bringing to school, I found that highly unlikely. 

Besides, it matched her outfit perfectly (yeah, yeah, I totally didn't even think about getting a picture and accept the self-wrist-slapping I've given myself).

Walking into the classroom, she took off her backpack and removed her jacket carefully, avoiding pulling the glove off.  As she made her way to her seat, she saw one of her little boy-friends wearing a fake mustache (see?  everything goes!).  Seeing her interest, he removed it and handed it to her, so she could put it on herself.  By the time I finished fumbling with my cell phone camera, it had fallen off of her and she was already moving on to give it to another child. 

Quirky, yes.  But any different from any other child's typical silliness and exploration at this age?  Nope.

By the way, in case you were burning to know, yes, she can hold a pencil and write perfectly well while wearing a gardening glove... 

On a completely different topic, I was pretty impressed on Saturday by her acknowledgement of somebody else's differences.  We were walking into a playground and saw a man up ahead of us with a very pronounced limp and walking with the aide of a cane. 

"Mommy, look at him - he needs some medicines." 


Choking back the surprised/happy laughter I felt threatening to consume me, I carefully explained to her that he likely didn't need medicine, but just needed the help of a cane.

"So he can walk!"

Exactly.

In the past, I would have imagined I'd cringe and hush a child that said that out loud.  Knowing what I know now of the disability community, I can honestly hope that the man heard her.  I think most people, including myself, appreciate parents taking the time to explain things to their naturally curious children, rather than hushing them and treating disability as a taboo subject.  How would they ever learn acceptance from that?  I wanted the man to know that Samantha, at least, is one who will spread acceptance through education, if not solely by virtue of her own differences.

10 comments:

Rochelle said...

Love her exploring the world in her own way! Fabulous!

Jenny said...

Absolutely loved this!!! Just the thought of Sammi wearing her little pink gardening glove to school makes me smile :)

ChaCHA online said...

I love and I am awed by the fact that my children have taught me more about acceptance than any adult I have ever encountered prior to having kids.

savina pernisco said...

Lily is 11 and she still has her strange quirks. She wore a tiara for months. I didn't think she would ever get out of that one! But now that she doesn't wear it anymore, I miss seeing it on her.

Michelle said...

Oh yes Kayla has those quirks! She used to wear socks on her hands for gloves. And if she comes across a pair of winter mittens or gloves, she likes to wear them around the house - even in summer. Even if it's just one of them. Her latest though is having a pencil. All the time. She just likes carrying around a pencil (or her 'wand') she'll ask if she can take it with her when we're going somewhere. She loves her pencils.

teal915 said...

I love reading Samantha stories : )

lovemy3 said...

Love it! All of my kids have had their quirks! My oldest carries Pokemon cards everywhere and tries to engage me in the conversation. I'm clue.less!

Laura said...

I totally related to this post. Ben doesn't have many quirks yet. It's only a matter of time, though, until he does. Colin (Ben's older brother), though, is full of quirks! And I love most of them too:)

Anonymous said...

Quirky is charming and I love it!! How boring would this world be if not for our differences! Mary

wendy said...

Claire plays with the cat toy too! Last summer she went through a phase of wearing sun glasses when all the kids started wearing them to school.