Different like everyone else

I've been thinking a lot about what makes me stand out in a crowd, thanks for the All About Meme post from MommyBrain last week (sorry I'm a week late, D!). The challenge was to think of five things about me that make me different. When I read hers, I found that we were the same on 3.5/5 (I won't say which one and a half were different), and that many of those were things that wouldn't make me stand out in my crowd at all.

So what does? And do I like to stand out? I confessed in another post to being a bit of a drama queen, so the answer is probably yes. I'm reading The Tipping Point now and was trying to figure out if I was a Connector, Maven, or Salesman because I was so drawn to the idea of being special and important, but as I read on, I decided that I was none of the above. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I'm drawn to characters in books who discover that they are different in some way, but even in that I'm like a lot of other people. I read once that one reason Harry Potter books are so popular is that most kids wish they could wake up and find that they were special and were getting out of their ordinary, unpleasant lives.

Now my life is far from unpleasant, but it's clearly and disturbingly ordinary, so I kept thinking about this idea of what makes me stand out. Confession: It's supposed to be an "I never..." post, so I'm supposed to think of things I've never done. But that would be all too easy, because there are a zillion things I've never done. So here's what I came up with instead:

1. I know sign language and can still be found carrying on silent conversations with my mom when someone is sleeping or across the room at a family gathering. We learned when I was young, spent a few summers at a deaf camp, and became involved with a deaf church when I was in middle and high school. When my son was born it was wonderful to be able to be able to communicate with him in both sign and English. I just wish I remembered more of the actual ASL!

2. I was (am?) a ballroom dancer. I learned a bit through doing a production of "Guys and Dolls" in high school and joined the dance team at Yale. That's right, I can not only do the rumba, I have a blue ribbon for it! But once I graduated, I stopped dancing for the most part, because it's an expensive hobby for a teacher who also has student loans. I love it, though, and am hoping I can get back into it at some point.

3. I am a grammar geek. My relatives are kinder and say that I'm a grammar cop, but this is only so they can tease me about blowing my grammar whistle when I hear something like, "I did good on my English test." Tweeeeet!! I love revising and editing and harbor the fantasy that I'll get to be a children's book editor for a living and work from home as much as I want.

4. I didn't think that I was outside of the mainstream parenting group, but I've found that within my circle of friends, I stand out for being one of the only ones who uses cloth diapers. I think this is because people think they are much more difficult and disgusting than they really are. We use Mother-Ease diapers and they rock. I'm saving the cost of diapers (an extra load of laundry really doesn't come close to being as expensive, people) as well as doing my bit to reduce landfills. They help keep my son from having a miserable diaper rash, too, so it's a win-win. Turns out I'm also an unusual parent for not letting my guy cry it out in order to sleep train him, but that's a subject for another post. Hey, that fits with the I never prompt! Whew, I can follow rules a little, I guess.

5. I have Sebastian. This is what makes me different, just like every other parent out there. And every other parent out there knows exactly what I mean.

Still thinking about who I am. I try not to think too much about who I never was, unless there's still a chance to become her.


  1. I keep meaning to mention the cloth diapers to Becky but i'm sure you can talk to her next month.
    I'm curious about the crying it out thing. My only experience was babysitting when I was a kid but I felt evil letting them cry alone and almost always went to pick up Andy or Sam.

  2. Jessica, Thanks for your comment on my blog! I loved this post of yours- esp the last line. "I try not to think too much about who I never was, unless there's still a chance to become her." Love it! I think too often since becoming a parent, I do miss the 'old life'. I think it is normal and healthy to remember fondly dinners out with friends, quiet nights at home with my husband, etc. Becoming a mom is such an identity shaking experience. Suddenly you are trusted to care for someone else- and all of the other 'who I ams' fade a way for some time. At least they did for me! But maintaining the essence of ME and making time for me is critical to becoming a happy and 'good' mom. Love that you are a grammar geek and a dancer! That is awesome! I'll read along- thanks for this post!