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Challenge: What Makes a Family?

Quirky - It's Better Than Boring)

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You hear a child talking so loud it disrupts your dinner. You look over to see him eating with his eyes closed. He then makes a loud “toot” noise with his mouth and starts incessantly laughing about it. You look next to him and his little sister is giving herself a bath in butter and mac n’ cheese. It gets quiet (for like one millisecond) and then you hear the oldest child at the table break into a full rendition of “Shake It Off” from her booth seat which, unfortunately for you, is connected to yours and is ultimately causing your booty to shake unwantedly. This is not how you wanted to spend your dinner. Who could enjoy dinner like this? You think to yourself, “I never want kids”. If you have kids, then you say to yourself “I am so glad those are not my kids”. BUT, do you know what?

Those are MY kids.

And, while you are thinking of how to get yourself moved to a dinner table slightly further away from us and our antics/commotion, I am thinking to myself just how grateful I am for them. And the other part of me is wondering just how I got to be so lucky to be their parents.

My kids are fun. They are the type of fun that will have you peeing in your pants. They say the silliest stuff all of the time and purposefully, and inadvertently, make the most hilarious faces and noises. They have, on more than one occasion, caused me to spit out a drink due to spontaneous laughter and to legit tinkle a little bit (totally TMI, but any mom who has birthed a baby understands this).

My kids have yet to hear a song that doesn’t make them want to break out into a dance and they have no idea what it means to have an inside voice. My son will bang his head into the wall because he thinks it is hilarious and then the baby will follow suit. And, my oldest, well, she will heel-stretch or twirl her way out of a conversation she doesn’t want to be a part of. Needless to say, they make me laugh all of the time. They make everyone around them laugh all of the time.

It can be, literally, quite hard to parent quirky children. How do you correct hilarious, but somewhat inappropriate behavior while you are laughing? Oh, yea — you can’t. Still, I would rather have quirky kids than boring ones. Oops, should I not have said that? Yes, I know and agree that ALL kids are special, even the quiet ones, but you know what I mean…the loud ones, the sometimes-inappropriate ones, the goofballs, well they are just a blast to be around and they make normal, everyday, stressful life, more tolerable.

Here are ten reasons that I choose to allow my children to embrace their kookiness and share it with the world:

  1. They lighten the mood wherever we go. They have the ability to make tough situations seem a little less challenging and they really aid in decreasing my anxiety in certain situations.
  2. There is a beautiful naivety in their often humorous innocence. This can be rare to see, especially amongst children these days who are pushed to act like an adult at such an early age. Because of this, I relish in the moments where I am in the presence of their often gullible wide eyes.
  3. They force me to adult less and to let my inner child out to play with them.
  4. They remind me of what is most important in life — not work, not money, but people, always and forever.
  5. They encourage me to be myself, by exemplifying how gratifying it is to do so. Each of us are so unique and we need to protect, promote, and be proud of our uniqueness.
  6. They inspire me. There is this hidden and subtle power in looking silly and not caring that you do. They surely inspire me to be more powerful and to be more confident in who I am.
  7. They provide enough daily comic relief that I do not need to seek outside therapy. Truth. They have, and continue to, save me a lot of money on professional help.
  8. They make me laugh constantly and laughing is a great form of exercise. Did you know that laughing burns calories? Yep. It has been said that laughter can burn up to 20% more calories — so in effect, they are keeping me healthy.
  9. There is a certain happiness, regardless of your situation, that can be found and attained by acting or seeing others act completely silly and ridiculous. My children create that bliss for me.
  10. They aid in my appreciation for wine. If they weren’t so darn quirky, I wouldn’t enjoy red wine so much.

Don’t get me wrong — there are plenty of times that their off-the-wall behavior makes me nuts and unhinged; but more often than not, I am able to find myself feeling more than content, even lucky and blessed, to call them my children.

“The word ‘silly’ is derived from the Greek word ‘selig’ meaning ‘blessed’. There is something sacred in being able to be silly.” — Paul Pearsall

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