My mom recently visited her parents in Michigan and returned with this gem. In 1967 Disney released its Jungle Book, and along with it the LP for its leading song, "The Bare Necessities." An 8-year-old version of my mother spent literally hours alone in her room listening to the LP. Growing up in rural Michigan without siblings to play with, Disney was my mom's most frequent retreat.
Her school was putting on a musical concert, and amongst the traditional, boring patriot elementary school fare, they were singing "The Bare Necessities." A neat little row of 3-4th graders wearing their pressed Sunday best, obediently rising to sing. But clearly such a song could not be sung holding still, or so my mom thought! She was dancing away, eyes closed, singing loudly through the whole song! My grandma said she had obviously been in her room attentively listening to the record inventing her very own dance moves to the song. She was completely absorbed, and completely alone in her dancing.
This little story represents my mom in so many ways - her Disney passion, her zest for the fun in life, her bountiful imagination, ignoring social norms for the sake of creativity. I love my mom so much, and love this about her, and love this story. I could just see her doing it. My grandma said that afterward mom sat down and chatted away at the girl next to her (who was ignoring her with all her might), undoubtedly saying "Wasn't that FUN?!" It was fun for her because she made it fun. And that's how she lives life, and its something I cherish in her. The more of the world I become acquainted with, the more I realize that joy, fun and creativity are rare, and I've never met anyone like my mom. She seeks after these things, and her life, her family and community are better for it. It baffles a lot of folks, who react by belittling her, laughing at her, or writing her off. But wow, are they missing out.