leaning-tower-of-pisa-94984_1280An estimated one million visitors flock annually to view a bell tower on the coast of Italy. Constructed from 1173 to 1370, it is just one of many examples of ancient architecture.

But there’s something different about this tower in the oceanside village of Pisa. It’s leaning.

The foundation of the building was placed on unstable soil (a future blog post topic). Three stories of construction later, it began to sink on one side. Now, as measured from the seventh story, the tower is out of line by 4.4 meters and has undergone several restoration and stabilizing projects to keep it from toppling.

Yet, if it wasn’t leaning, who would care? It would be just another old building in country full of old buildings.

It made me think. Growing up, how many kids wish they fit into the crowd? And turn themselves inside out trying to be like everybody else, squelching their God-given talents and developing warped views of themselves? I wish I could say the quest ended with puberty.

But, it’s our differences that make us unique.

[Tweet “It’s our differences that make us unique. via @CandeeFick”]

This past weekend, I had the chance to get together with several other families raising children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome. In addition to sharing our struggles and gleaning information about transition programs (coming soon for us), the highlight of the day was seeing the diversity present even in kids with CdLS. Size, communication skills, eating abilities, limb differences, and mobility were just a few.

And each child came with their favorite object. The one thing they don’t leave home without. Ever. A plastic ball, rubber wristbands, a shoestring, a toothbrush, an Iphone, a CD twirling on a stick. The same collecting trait with a unique twist.

The same, but different. Just like the rest of the human race. As for me, I’m getting old enough that I don’t care so much what others think.

What about you? What is unique about your personality or interests? Is it something you celebrate or a trait you hide? Why?

Leaning Towers
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