A Little Bit Weird

It can be really easy to get bogged down in the daily work of parenting. It’s incredibly difficult and incredibly boring all in one breath. Your child is amazing creature who inspires wonder in one moment and demon spawn who inspires homicidal rage the next. My hair is never combed and I’m far too involved in the plot lines of Peg + Cat. Insert meme about stepping on legos and eating cold pasta over the sink.

But once in a while, sometimes even every day, you get a chance to take the long view for a moment. To just step back and see an actual human being developing and creating and becoming. And it is god damn amazing if I do say so. To see the wild free beast we all are before we get hammered down a bit.


I had this awkward stage that lasted approximately one…DECADE. Not one year, one entire decade. (at this point in the story my sister would add “or so.”) At the time I believed it was because I was a little odd and a bit volatile and there was always the issue of WTF is going on with my hair. Subsequently I made things more awkward by trying to hide the oddness and dampen the volatility and somehow conceal the texture of the hair.

I laugh about it now because I’m almost 15 years out of that stage and because I can see the pictures and I do have a sense of humor and weeping about your Birkenstocks with sandals phase makes you seem pathetic. But at the time it occasionally made me quite sad. And led me to act in ways that were not in alignment with my own beliefs. I know because I kept a journal that I wrote while dictating aloud to my cat who I believed was the only being who understood the true me. For real.

One of my biggest parenting goals is to make sure my kids are as weird as they want to be. As weird as they feel inside. I now wear my weirdness on the outside, and not in an ironic hipster way like Smurfy winter hats worn in summer and bacon flavored ice cream. I simply just put it out there. I let ME out. My strange jokes. The voices that go with certain phrases. The way my volume and my blood pressure raise when discussing certain topics. I do it because it feels good and because I want my kids to see the joyful irreverence that comes with that kind of openness.

I hope they can do the same. I hope they can do it earlier and more often than I have. I hope they don’t spend a decade (or so) trying to figure out where to put the things they don’t know how to make fit. I know that if I accomplish this they will, at times, maybe need to write sad thoughts in a journal. {note to self: adopt empathetic cat}

Vesper is a child of the digital age and therefore loves taking pictures. She uses the world selfie like it’s the most normal thing you could do. She adds filters expertly. She holds the DSLR in her hands, dimpled knuckles tightly clenched, focusing in on her subject.

She recently told me that when she takes pictures she can decide what to call them based on the way someone is looking at her through the lens. She, essentially, writes captions. There is a picture of her from almost 3 years ago pinned to the wall near where I work at home, she told me it says ‘What do I do with all these teeth?’

A picture of her holding her little sister from the summer is telling her ‘Babies can’t sit up but we can help them.’ A picture of my sister on her wedding day says ‘Fancy things make her happy and we are pretty when we are happy.’

While we were visiting my sister recently, she took a picture of her newest cousin and told me he was thinking ‘It’s cold out here.’ I think she meant at the park where she took the picture, but shit if that isn’t just the motto of life. Everyone’s life.


She took a picture of me in the hotel room a few weeks ago. She made me take my earrings off. She had me put my sunglasses on. She told me not to ‘let my teeth show.’ When I asked her what she thought about the title of that picture she said ‘a little bit weird.’ Yes honey, just a little bit.


4 thoughts on “A Little Bit Weird

  1. Love this.
    Whenever I think that one of my kids is a little bit weird, and this has so far been mostly U (N is mostly a happy-go-lucky kind of kid) my first mama bear thought is “will she suffer because of it?”, but my second is “I hope she stays that way”. And I’ll do my best to help her get through that decade, or so :).

  2. Love. Love love love. As a mama who’s a little bit weird, too, you brought tears to my eyes, girl! We’ve banned the word as an insult amongst our three rowdy boys.

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