Reverb 10: Toes.

On the last day of November, I signed up to participate in #reverb10, a month-long challenge to blog every day of December based on prompts provided here. Here’s hoping it keeps me honest. Today’s prompt: December 8 Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

My toes.

Few people know it, but it's my toes that light 'em up. Specifically: Two toes on my right foot are webbed together. Not completely. Just enough that I can't wear those cute little socks. (My left foot is a little webby, but it's not as noticeable as my right.)

I was ashamed of it as a child. Never wanted to wear open-toed shoes or be around other kids barefoot. I didn't even own a pair of flip-flops until college, when the idea of showering without them was about as disgusting as licking a dripping bar mat after last call. The Asian women who do my pedicures could have a field day with it, chattering a mile a minute in a language I can't understand, while I'm sitting there paralyzed by the massage chair.

But now I realize that extra bit of skin — stretched thin, almost to translucence — is where my magic lies. That's what makes me beautifully different.

The gap it creates between my big toe and the rest makes me smile wider, laugh louder. My dad's toes are webby, too; our shared sense of dry, dorky humor must live there, too. The physical webbing matches an invisible tie from my heart to my eyes and the words on my lips and my very long sleeve. An extra bit of honesty lives there. In my foot. Yeah. There's room in there too for generosity, forgiveness and second chances.

The only thing my webbed toes don't do is help me swim better. That's just crazy.

My little podiatric quirk, and all the other funny little idiosyncrasies on and inside this nearly six-foot frame, don't define me, but they do make me special.