I've been studying a lot about various tests this quarter; personality, intelligence, etc. There are basically two different types of tests, subjective and objective. The subjective ones are the ink-blot types, where the examinee gets to fill-in-the-gap type of tests. The objective tests are the more factor-analytic, true/false, yes/no, scoring types of tests. There is a need for both types, but being who I am, I'm a bit more intrigued by the subjective types, if only for the sake of the examinee's opportunity to ponder and self-examine the results. Really...is any of my family surprised? I think not.
So, one example of the subjective tests is to "finish the sentence". As I glanced at the sentences, (and because I think in pictures/videos and not words, I couldn't help but "finish" the sentences in a flash of images and the resulting emotions and insight that followed were relatively cathartic. I've been geeking out ever since. Guess who's the newest, biggest fan of subjective personality tests?
The first sentence was, "My father was...." and the second sentence is "My mother was...."
When I read "My father was..." the mental video starting rolling....my dad's "head shot" at the piano, him standing at a mic, him on the screen in Body and Soul, him dancing "soft shoe" on the kitchen floor, him buying ice cream from the good-humor man for all of the neighborhood kids, him being on the most annoying commercial in central Ohio growing up ("Did you say nine cents?")...so it occurred to me. "My father was a star"...big personality, big drama, big hugs, big space.
When I read "My mother was..." then THAT video started rolling, and I saw my mother sitting and smiling...listening...because you see, my mother was the audience. There can't be two stars. Mother always listened. She listened to Dad. She listened to my sister talk about her Friday and Saturdays nights. She listened to my brother. She listened. It wasn't until her 90th birthday party that I realized that Mother was a star in her own right, with her own circle. She sublimated her star quality in her family because not only did she marry a "star", she gave birth to big "star"-type people...big energies....laughter, stories, big get-a-load-of-this kind of people...and she listened... I only really appreciated Mom's star quality when I learned that at her 90th birthday party, she was virtually adulated by her euchre club and mah jong club friends and neighbors. They adore her because of her spark and humor. They listened to her. She's the star.
I'm so grateful to know that. I hope it isn't too late to let that star power shine. This spring Mom...the mic is all yours....