My daughter’s quest to be “rare”

shopkin

Rare Shopkin Toy

As Lexie collects Shopkins or other collectible toys, she is excited to find a rare or ultra-rare one. And that desire to have something that very few others possess has also spilled over to herself. She is constantly trying to find out what make her different. She wants to know what makes her unique or rare.

“Is having blue eyes common?”

“Is having your organs on the opposite sides rare?”

“Is your heart beating fast unusual?”

With brown being the dominant eye color, blue eyes are not as common. And Lexie’s eyes are beautiful, and as she often tells me, bluer than my own.

Lexie does have Situs Inversus Totalis, which means her organs are flipped as a mirror image (left to right) of the average person. Her heart, stomach and spleen are on the right side of her body instead of the left. Situs inversus is rare. You have a .01% chance of having this. But Lexie is not the ONLY one to have it. Singer Enrique Iglesias, actress Catherine O’Hara, singer Donny Osmond and basketball player Randy Foye are a few of the more notable people with Situs Inversus.

And of course your heart beating fast is very common. It can occur when you are scared, or after you have been exercising. But Lexie sometimes insists hers beats fast when she is just sitting still. (Maybe that is unique?)

originalNow I am sure many kids want to feel special. They want to know they are loved. They want to know that they are good at soccer or science or drawing. We all want to be good at something. And some people excel at shining while others would much rather blend into the background.

Jase is the one who wants to blend in. He doesn’t want to call attention to himself. But eight-year-old Lexie is the opposite. She wants to be noticed. She wants to be special. And more and more, it seems she wants to find out what makes her rare.

As her parents, my husband and I struggle with her constant questions about what makes her special. We have tried explaining that everyone has something they are good at or something that they might do better than others. However, that doesn’t mean they are better or more special. In other words, we are all special in our own way.

We don’t think Lexie does this because she doesn’t feel loved or know that she is good at drawing. Maybe she is like every other kid striving to be “better” than her brother or classmate. Maybe she just wants to know that she is not like everyone else, that she possess something that makes her different than others. Something that makes her special. We try to be factual in our answers. We don’t want to diminish what is different about her or what she does well such as drawing but not everything that happens makes you different or unique.

Hopefully as she grows older, she will grow out of this phase of needing to find what makes her unique. Maybe one day she will realize that just being Lexie is special enough.

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