Sunday, August 21, 2011

Comparisons are odious

[Every once in a while, when the mood strikes, I'll add posts from my old, defunct blog on to this one in their proper historical places. Today I ran across one that was originally posted in May of 2008 and decided to repost it. Because I haven't changed any.]

My oldest children participate in a community chorus that focuses on the great music of the Church, historical and contemporary, putting on a concert twice each year. Every spring the director has the graduating seniors sing a special song together, and she includes a brief bio on each in the program.

Well, the spring concert was last night and Elaienar [aka Eldest Daughter] was included in the “graduating senior” group even though if I had to get technical about it I’d say she finished 12th grade last year. I didn’t think about mentioning it to the director back then since Elai was busy with other things that spring and high school graduation would be, for us, a rather artificial way of marking our children’s milestones. But we had no objection to her being part of the graduating group, since this is the last year she’ll be singing with the group as a student. If she continues to sing with them, it will be as a mentor.

Unfortunately, we’d forgotten about the bio, so when Elai was asked to write one up at the last moment, she wrote one that was short on facts but long on wit. I thought it portrayed her personality in a way that a list of facts wouldn’t do.

But the dear director, bless her heart and we do love her to pieces, doesn’t share Elai’s quirky sense of humor, so the bio that was written up in the program was nothing like what she had written. It was sweet and affectionate, but it looked so dull next to everyone else’s lists of accomplishments and awards and honors and scholarships and where they’re all going to college. If I’d known it was going to be rewritten I’d’ve had her supply more facts to pad it.

You may not believe this, but I actually woke up this morning with a sick tummy because it was bothering me so.

When I’m at home doing what we’ve set out to do, I’m reasonably happy with what we’re doing and I like the way things are working out. It’s just when these occasions where it’s impossible not to make a comparison occur that I doubt and second-guess the Lord’s leading. And I don’t like being different – it’s so uncomfortable. Really, I just want to fit in… I want everyone else to like me and approve of me. Elai says I have an inferiority complex – she’s not worried about the bio at all because she honestly doesn’t care what other people think about her and her abilities.


See, I should make this into a post that encourages other people to trust the Lord.

Something spiritual.

Like my favorite bloggers would do.


  1. The sad thing is that I wrote out a copy of each bio in the comments, which are lost now. Oh well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

  2. I would have loved to read that bio, but I get the picture. I identify myself much with you. I think I would have had the same feelings as a mom you did at the time.
    This post showed me that our children, despite our deficiencies, such as self esteem or other type of doubts, can be over all that and truly live life with that freshness and admirable spirit your daughter showed in all this.
    It was a great anecdote, thanks for sharing.

  3. I love you Silvia, you're such an encourager.

    Katherine was always good at academics, but she was never interested in going to college. Just the other day she called me (she's with my mom now) and said that one of my mom's friends was talking to her about student loans and grants, giving the the not-so-subtle hint that the ought to be going to college. She listened politely and thanked her for the information, but really she wanted to tell the lady that she's a writer, and right now she spends much of the day writing, but if she went to college she wouldn't be able to do that because she'd have home work, and then she'd have to get a job to pay off her loans and pretty soon she'd find herself a middle-aged woman with a house full of children, and STILL no time to write. We both laughed, but honestly. She's DOING NOW what she loves and is good at. College would interrupt all that.

    I know that for people of my parents' generation, and even for most people of ours, college was the ticket to success, but that just isn't the case these days. For some people it really is the right thing to do. I just think it's a mistake to make young people feel like the only way to succeed in life, or to make your parents proud of you, is go to college (frequently by taking on huge loads of debt).

  4. Kelly. I'm not exaggerating when I say that one of the best things of this year has been to have connected with you and Willa too.
    Despite our differences, our points in common are very strong. My girls are younger, so here I have an advantage because I have you, ladies, to look to.
    I believe we see education very similarly, even if our daily routines aren't similar, our principles are very alike.
    I say this because we too, my dh and me, have changed and keep changing in our views.
    I'll explain.
    Once upon a time, we both thought the girls should have a degree before marrying, than their twenties were a very young age. Now I don't think like that anymore. My husband is coming along too, :)
    At that time too, we both thought as you say of your parents generation and even our contemporaries, that college was IT. Now I know it's not the case.
    Your example with Katherine is one of the many that scream to us that this thing of growing up, consuming, staying home so that we can consume more, traveling and studying and owing a fortune before you get a very modicum job, it's not at all the path to take.
    I'm tickled by Katherine's insight. I'm sure she will get to see her books published, and let me tell you, should she need a job, she'll get something even better than many graduates. Because to get a job you need qualities that are beyond a degree, and employers today know that. Plus, with her maturity, should she need a degree, she'll get it without contracting debt or wasting hours on homework.

    We are going to our first ever, for himself, acupuncture session! I'll let you all know about it!

    And thanks for the book suggestions too!

  5. Thanks, Silvia! These blogging book clubs have been a blessing in many ways.

  6. Thanks for sharing (again), Kelly. I liked it then, and I like it even more now.


What are your thoughts? I love to hear from you!