Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Never a shy bone in my body

I'm sure I'll post this on the right side of my blog page, but I just wanted to introduce my older brother's blog that he just started a few days ago. It's called Rusted Ruminations. I'm guessing that "ruminations" means thoughts or something similar. (I just looked it up and it means "turning a matter over and over in your mind." Perfect title for how his mind works!)

If I haven't mentioned this before, I grew up in a family of 5 children. I'm the only girl. I wanted and hoped for a sister, but that wasn't the plan. Instead, I had my own room when they all shared one. I was the second oldest, but often felt like I was the oldest since I was the most outgoing and loudest. :) I didn't try to overshadow my older brother Rusty and I don't think he ever felt that way. He just smiled when I talked and talked and seemed to appreciate my ways. My younger 3 brothers seemed to hover around him like buzzing bees. They loved to watch his every move. He eventually got his own room (small narrow laundry room -- his bed was on a plank above the washer and dryer for a few years before my mom moved them out by the back door). When they got a chance to be in his room with him, they'd look around in awe at his organized display of what he loved and play silently at his side.

I love to write. I love to talk. Rusty doesn't talk nearly as much, but is a brilliant writer. I think it's more fascinating to hear what someone is thinking about when they don't talk. My school teachers must have agreed. I used to watch the shy kids at school from a young age and wished I could be like them. I'd raise my hand at every opportunity, knowing all the answers. My teachers weren't that anxious to call on me. They'd say things like, "We know you know the answer, Renee" and would scan the room for another hand. My hand would find ways to shoot higher, which didn't help a bit. I'd watch the teacher call on the quiet child and try to pry an answer from her. So as I began 3rd grade, I set a goal to be the quiet child in class.

I remember lying in bed the night before the first day of 3rd grade. "I'm going to be shy this year," I vowed. I could just see the teacher, saying "Renee?" and trying to get me to answer. That would be the best. The next day, I sat in my chair and ideas and answers flooded my head. Can I keep them to myself? I sat and remembered my goal for the year. But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. I had to share what was in my head. I had to let the teacher know that I knew. I wanted to participate in whatever discussion took place. I couldn't stop myself from talking!!!!!!!!!!

So I came to grips with my ways and was amused when I went to my oldest daughter had her Parent/Teacher Conferences. Year after year, her teachers would tell me how she was bright and a delight, but she loved to talk. My oldest son had the same problem (and I'm sure my youngest will when he starts Kindergarten this year). They even came up with a word for it with my oldest son -- they said he was "blurting." His brain went so fast and he wanted to share it with everyone. One teacher called him "Mert, the Blurt" because he couldn't even wait to raise his hand. I think I always raised my hand, but I'm sure I blurted out my thoughts before called upon (the hand was just a formality on my part :)). I'd sit there in the P/T Conferences and think "Yeah, I know what that was like" and would want to discuss my past with it, instead of talking about their struggles. I was able to maintain my thoughts, keeping a rein on them (oh, it's tough though) and let the Conference go on without my every thought flying out there. So I know there's hope for my kids.

Back to Rusty, just the opposite. You don't really know what he's thinking about unless he writes. And I wouldn't call him shy. He's not afraid of anything. He's not afraid to talk to anyone or even in public. He just chooses to not do it nearly as much as I do (and not as speedily). Sometimes I talk to people and have SO MANY details or experiences to share that I can't talk enough to keep up with the flow. But not Rusty. He takes his time and divies up his words to add to the conversation.

He wrote a column in the high school newspaper that was always fun to read. I won't try to describe his clever style. And I'd better not build it up too much or he'll feel like he has a big shoe to fill. Just drop by his blog sometime and see how his brain works. It's amazing.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHA...
    Oh gosh, I at least raise my hand, too.
    But I know that my teachers know that I'm going to talk anyway... So I totally raise my hand and start vocalizing my thoughts.
    Lovely to know that it came from you!

    And, yes, James will be quite the blurter. He needs to learn some ... quieter social skills :).

    Love you!