I grew up in a household that did not value difference all that well. You needed to fit the mold - be how and what was expected of you. Be seen and not heard. You could be good at things...but they had to be the "right"things. The sports that "everyone" played or the instrument that "everyone" enjoyed etc. I knew while I was growing up that this was probably not the best approach to life...but at the same time I didn't really know any different, so I stayed in the box and did as I was told. I strayed out - here and there - with a night of drinking or a crazy haircut...but not often. In the grand scheme of life I had the "model" child hood. I played the piano, sang in chorus, was a cheerleader, got "A's", had the right friends, dressed the right way, and just stayed pretty much strait and narrow and out of the spot light as best I could.
I don't mean it to sound awful, because it was just the opposite - I had great friends and truly learned to love the "normal" life that I had. But still...in the back of my mind...I knew that there were probably more interesting avenues to take or more inspiring things to do with my time. But as a teenager and younger...these are fleeting thoughts and they did not disrupt my day to day fun.
Now here I am...the mother of three children...soon to be 4. What do I want to do to be different from what I knew growing up? How do I teach the kids to think and do outside the box without making them freaks or letting them get into too much trouble. What I realize now is that the easiest way to make sure our kids are healthy, safe and stable...is to point them in the direction of societies norms. They are proven - why not send them that way? I get it.
In the end...my hope is to really get to know my kids every single day of their lives. All of their quarks, all of the ways that they change, and all of the ways that they grow. If I know as much about each of them as I can, then maybe I can harness the good in their differences and point them in a direction that will maximize on their "craziness". And in the end, help the "things that make them different" to be what makes them successful and happy.
Where did this come from? Well...as always...Little Kyle always makes me think a little passed the surface. We all know that Kyle can be at times challenge. I am not even going to go into detail about his nuttyness, because everyone that is reading this knows what i am talking about.
But the most nerve wracking quirk is his ability to "flip out" over the smallest thing? Not sure why...but it happens each day. Lots of advice flys your way when you have a kid that can melt down over a spiderweb on his bike or over "losing" a bike race with himself? Yeah...figure that one out!! Anyway...I have been "told" to not let him get away with it because the world will not tolerate such behavior. I have also been told and have read articles that say that we should accommodate his craziness because he is fragile and we don't want to scar him for life.
I say this. some days I will not tolerate Kyle's behaviour because I won't be in a position to do it with grace...and some days I will probably hold him and give him comfort for his duress because I love him and i hate to see him so nuts. but in the end...Kyle is different and I hope that his difference is what makes him unique...what helps him to think and do outside of the box...what helps him to find his own personal place in this world...where HE FITS!
I only hope that I can get to know him in a way that will help me point him in directions that will suit him! There is a lot to accomplish for all of my children. As crazy and as quirky as they are! They don't need to play the piano, or play high school football - but they can if they choose! They can be in the band, or play in a band...they can rock climb, or do water ballet...Ski or bobsled...I don't care. I just hope that I can find the right ways to help them be the perfect people that they were put here to be with the greatest of purpose and the happiest of souls!!
I write this blog for all of the mothers out there who look at their children doing the most bizarre things and think "Oh My...what the heck is wrong with my kid!!??" We have all been there. So next time they do something that makes you worry or think "what have I done wrong here?"....take just a moment to smile and think...this crazy kid could be the next Neil Armstron, or Katie Couric or Mandi Moore, or Maya Angelou..the sky is the limit :) Love to all my mommy friends!