When Youngest Man-child was in first grade I received a call from the teacher. “I’m a little concerned about your son. Is everything okay at home? Are there any problems impacting him right now?” I was horrified! I had never gotten a call from a teacher asking such questions. “What in the world would make you think that?” I asked. She explained that in a discussion she had heard between my son and the others at his table, she had heard him say, “I’m weird. My whole family is weird.” She was concerned that he was having some type of adjustment issue based on this comment. Inwardly I was howling with laughter! We have a saying among us in our family—We are weird and we’re proud of it. Who would want to be just plain normal? We all have a dry (slightly warped) sense of humor. We all love to watch Andy Griffith reruns together and quote the lines. We must watch the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy at least once a year (that is coming up over the Christmas holidays). We are all musicians with classical training and yet we love lots of types of music and have to sing mountain songs with a bluegrass twang, especially some particularly favorite Christmas songs and it needs to be LOUD. We enjoy rehearsing family stories and laughing together as if it were the first time. We have FUN together, lots of fun, and never get tired of it. My husband and I told each other and our kids that being weird was a wonderful thing because you were interesting and being different was a good thing. Be an individual! Be brave and secure enough to be who you truly are! Be thankful for who you are and don’t try to be like everyone else! You are special! Weird is good!
When Oldest Man-child was a freshman in college, he came home for the first time after his initial departure, sat on the sofa and grinned. We kept asking why but he just shook his head and grinned all the harder. Finally he said, “I missed this. I missed being us.” What a wonderful thing to pass on to your children…the ability to rejoice in individuality. To be creative and able to stand alone…imperfect and secure. Weird is good!