Unique Individual: My Child Makes Me Smile

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Family

Every parent thinks that their child is unique, but actually, all humans have individual nuances to their personality that make them interesting and different. My differences are often very apparent and although my daughter does not believe it, she also does little things that are not “common” actions.

A perfect example of Alyssa’s quirkiness would be when we take a simple trip to the doctor. After checking in with the receptionist, I sit down, fold my arms and touch nothing. I hope that all the germs crawling around will leave me alone. I think that I will be better off if I avoid touching as many surfaces as possible.

In contrast, my daughter not only looks at the magazines, but she straightens all of them on the coffee tables. It does not matter if the whole room is filled with people, she will create a Better Homes and Garden coffee table arrangement with magazines.

I have gotten used to Alyssa’s organizational tendencies in doctor’s offices. Over the years, there have been all kinds of reactions from other patients. Some people smile. Some people laugh. Some people just raise their eyebrows and watch her in confusion and amazement as she methodically rearranges all the magazines. It is just something that Alyssa does and it is an action that sets her apart from most people.

The other night I made shrimp for dinner and I cooked them with the tails still attached. Not a big deal. We happily devoured our meal. No, we did not daintily eat our food because we were both very hungry. I do not even think we talked to each other until we were finished and I dare say, we did not chew each bite the proper number of times. By the time the food had disappeared from my plate, Alyssa had already taken her place setting to the kitchen.

This is where Alyssa becomes Alyssa.

I gathered up my utensils and plate and walked into the kitchen to rinse them off. That is when I saw Alyssa’s plate. All that was left on her shrimp plate was some of the sauce and the empty tails.

Did you just get a visual of a pile of tails and sauce on a plate?

No, that is not what waited for me in the kitchen. Instead of a plate smeared with sauce and scattered shrimp tails with the remnants of vegetable side dishes, I was met with several plates – one plate for the vegetables and one for the shrimp. The plate for the shrimp had a little circle of cocktail sauce and another with the sauce from the shrimp. The shrimp tails were not in the center of the plate, but were neatly lined up side-by-side on the edge of the plate.

shrimp tails lined on the plate

It was almost artistic in a first grade type art piece. I could see two large eyes (globs of sauce) and a big tooth-filled smile (shrimp tails).

big tooth-filled smile

Obviously, I am a seasoned mother. I have seen some wild drawings and always managed to say, “Oh! That is such a beautiful picture!” even though the picture she had drawn showed my nose on my forehead and my ears growing out of my neck. Yes, I proudly stuck it to the refrigerator and praised her continually.

This wonderful human being that I gave birth to eighteen years ago is a unique individual and extremely special in more ways than just organizing magazines in the doctor’s office or lining up empty shrimp tails on her plate at dinner. There are a billion things about Alyssa that I love, adore and cherish. She is so wonderful and I feel so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of her life.

Who would have ever imagined that a shrimp tail would hold such a lovely memory?

It is a wonderful surprise that after all these years and during the most unexpected moments, my child makes me smile by just being herself.

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stéfan Lévesque August 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

This is a great post that demonstrates your point so well. It is very true that we all have our idiosyncrasies, many of which can make others smile. What a sweet post.


2 Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

This is a great post that demonstrates your point so well. It is very true that we all have our idiosyncrasies, many of which can make others smile. What a sweet post.


3 Judy Haughton-James August 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Very interesting. You certainly have an awesome daughter! You ought to be very proud!
Judy from Jamaica


4 Teresa Wilkinson 1984 August 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

This made me smile and think of the uniqueness of my children and my friends in a different light than I had before. Thank you.


5 Dial Doctors August 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I absolutely adore how you've accepted your daughter just the way she is. Many parents try to change their kids, mine did, in hopes of molding them into what they'd like them to be. I would like to know if either your husband or you are anything like that? It would be cute to find a couple of more artsy shrimpy smiles in a single household


6 Joan August 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Okay, I have to admit! This post brought a BIG SMILE to my face! :o) It was utterly delightful! :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)


7 Brooke @ Covered in Grace August 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

So glad you highlighted this!! I love the tiny little things that kids do…revealing what kind of person they will turn out to be. =)


8 Valentina@baby quilts August 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I think it's wonderful that our kids have their own individualities – it would be very predictable and boring to have a family of the same. By the way, your daughter is creatively neat (or neatly creative :)and I really like that – a big hug to her!


9 Danielle September 1, 2011 at 7:11 am

Your post made me smile. Accepting our kids exactly as they are is a wonderful gift to them! Celebrating our uniqueness and quirks makes life fun.


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