Last week, while my first grader was pretending to do homework, he casually asked me if he was weird.
I pretended to listen to him until I could come up with an answer that would satisfy a 7-year-old boy.
But he asked me again. “Mommeeee! Do you hear me? Am I weird?”
I took a sip from my water bottle, hoping I could drink an answer, or stall the kid a little more. I wasn’t sure what to tell him. So I struggled for a second.
Do I tell him the truth? That the little girl who probably called him weird was the same little girl who is always in time out because she has a big mouth?
Or do I tell him that everyone in his family is weird? From his grandmother who is stuck in 1986 (and still uses Aqua Net for anything other than a flame torch), to his uncle who still has original VCR copies of the “Super Friends”?
Should I tell him that his mom and dad are so weird that we started fawning over his Halloween costume in August? And maybe we’ve already started the conversation about how weird we can get, so we can make his upcoming birthday extra special?
Or should I tell him about his deceased loved ones who are weird? Should I tell him that he was so weird that one of his ancestors had 21 children, and made the front page of an Oklahoma newspaper in the early 1900s? Or should I tell him about his grand-uncle whose family and friends probably called him weird as he told them that he was training for the nation’s elite Tuskegee Airmen?
I so badly wanted to tell my son, “Hell yes, you’re weird!”
He comes from a long line of weirdo’s, and I didn’t know how to break it to him.
But that’s not what I said. I looked at him, and gave him a kiss.
“Nope, you’re not weird,” I said to my son.
Joy Stokes is a wife, mother, a freelance writer, an editor at xonecole.com, a #foodporn addict, Navy veteran, and a screenwriter You can find more of her work on her personal blog, Mom&Cultured or on Twitter (@Joy_LeSigh).