I think as a parent there is never a good time to plan serious conversations. You can try, but the lack of comfort level always seems to get in the way. That’s why I like to let the deep conversations happen spontaneously, when the right questions are asked and I least expect it. Because of this sudden onset of monumental circumstance, I feel as if my thoughts flow unscripted and more freely from my heart.
Also, like I sometimes do on these very pages, I let my babble take over and try to throw in large words to make myself sound more intelligent than I really am.
But being a truthful parent is a pretty important thing, and when certain topics arise, I feel it is vital to clarify and expound in great detail the answers to the questions our children ask. So when one night while we were all getting ready for bed and I heard one of them ask me, “are we weird?”
Yes. We are.
From there it was a launch pad into one of the aforementioned conversations that I couldn’t have planned, but the universe dropped right into my hands. It was bedtime and we were having a sleepover, so I had a completely captive audience to enlighten. It went something like this…
“Kids, I am going to break to you some fairly earth-shattering news. The life that you have grown to know and find comfort in is actually pretty weird. What we have raised you to believe is normal is actually not. But it’s really okay, because everyone you know out there is just as weird as you are, but they all think they are totally normal. It’s what makes this world such a wonderful place.”
Of course they didn’t really understand at first what I was talking about, but then I broke to them some rather awful news. “For example, no one else puts salt on their toast.”
They were astounded. Their entire lives they have watched me and learned how to put bread in the toaster, slather it with butter, and sprinkle it with salt and sometimes pepper. It’s the only way they know to eat toast, and when I told them that unless there was another mom out there who craved salt during pregnancy as much as I did and never let go of those bad habits, chances are they are the only one of their friends who does such a strange thing.
“And that’s only the beginning. Not everyone else leaves butter on the counter or smashes eggs at Easter or listens to bluegrass every Sunday morning.”
And with that, I sent them to sleep, flabbergasted but hopefully perfectly content knowing that being weird is sometimes a very good thing indeed.
Originally written 3.6.16