Weird works.This thought spontaneously entered my mind as I walked up to my front door the other day. The blinds were open and I could see the vital organs of the little life our family has grown – my wife and son, artwork from kindergarten class, a sleeping dog, toys scattered about the area rug. My lifeblood. I took pause and focused on my family. My wife and son danced around the kitchen island, unencumbered, free and without care. They made faces at each other and danced uncontrollably. I could hear the music faintly from my vantage point. I could hear them laughing. Observing, I had realized that my simple thought was a moment of enlightenment. Weird works - this is what makes my family distinctive. It can’t be seen from the outside unless the conscious effort is made to stop and take a glimpse in. Our weirdness is the mortar that fuses together our family bond. It is the real “stuff” that takes us through the stress of life; deadlines at the office, school, bills, the everyday commitments filling time that is material and less cherished. Our family escapes by being uniquely ourselves. We act silly, dance and create humour in all that we do. From the moment I met my wife I knew I wanted to marry her. It may sound corny but it’s true. She is the only person who I have felt I never had to be guarded around. She completely knows me and embraces who I am. I can spontaneously break out in song, dance around like a fool, or be unapologetically vulnerable. It’s all the same - I feel loved entirely day in and day out. I am a very lucky man and do not take a moment for granted. But for most of my life I couldn’t truly be me. I would sit out the dances and hold myself to a standard of seriousness that clouded my authenticity. I wouldn’t allow myself to be weird. For many years I was guarded – with my personality, with the ways I presented myself to those around me. I was anxious about showing my authentic self because of fear of judgment. But why did I care? I had a silly side, a fun side, a side that could be uninhibited by the perception of others. I just didn’t know it. It wasn’t until I met my wife and had a family of my own that I was able to release a side of me that in many ways I had been repressing my entire life. Suddenly none of it mattered anymore. Fast forward to the day we introduced our son to the world. Whether he liked it or not he had been implanted into a family who makes the most of their unique moments together. Taking on the most serious and important role in my life, the role of a father, my walls continued to crumble. Pure joy was discovered in the innocent and obscure, and with each passing day our familial weirdness grew: Traditionally we have Friday night dance parties in our living room. On any given day you can find us singing loudly in our kitchen to, “All About The Bass.” We make up silly knock-knock jokes at the dinner table and repeat each other’s sentences using different words with like sounds – “What! You use different birds with white crowns?” We laugh. A lot. Our townhome is in a row of dozens that look exactly the same. But behind the walls something very different is going on. And I am blessed to be a part of it. Our townhome is in a row of dozens that look exactly the same. But behind the walls something very different is going on. And I am blessed to be a part of it. My experience has shown me how important it is that families embrace authenticity and foster confidence in their kids from a young age. Make the most of the time you have with each other and relinquish your inhibitions. Be an example of an individual for your child, it will be one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Too often in life we are expected to behave a certain way or adhere to a standard of seriousness. For those times remember, weird works. Whatever that means to you.
It takes a village!
Join ours. Before we were parents, we were people. Sign up for tips and stories from parents who get it.