I like to take my children places and not tell them where we're going.
They call it kidnapping. Tomato, tomahto. They pretend to hate it. I don't think they really do because in the end, it always turns out to be a memory.
Determined to wring the last loveliness out of summer,
Don't google it - the first thing that comes up is a video called "73 Stitches and What Went Horribly Wrong!!"
Predictably, the sixteen year old was mortified when he realized our destination, "Mom ... look around. Do you see any other moms doing this? Show me where you see some other moms doing this. You won't. Why? Because it's crazy. You're crazy."
"Honey," I asked him in surprise, "Have I EVER said I was normal? Have I EVER been normal? Why are you even wondering why other moms aren't doing this? Have I EVER done anything that other moms do?"
Without having to think too long, the fourteen-year-old and the nine-year-old answered, "She's right, you know."
And so their day of being held without ransom began--and ended--with the nine-year-old summing it up this way, "Just another day of life in a house like ours."
Too much time has been spent in my life, trying -- and failing. To be normal. Normal, I am not.
Tonight, I offer you this evidence; as I am sitting here typing, I am snacking on a head of lettuce. Whole, like an apple.
Oh, stop it--it's been washed.
Sometimes my children will come downstairs to find me running in place. Why? Because I like the tingly feeling in my legs when I'm done.
They no longer even notice the sound of my feet pounding on the carpeting at 11 p.m.
But, let's just say, for the sake of looking at all possibilities: let's say if I were given the choice of being NORMAL. Would I take it?
I couldn't say with certainty that I would.
I've got layers like an onion, I know, I know: I think I want to be normal and lament not fitting in; but then, at those moments when I'm being clear blue honest with myself; I'd have to answer "no."
Where would our zip-line moments come from, if I were normal?
Where would the memories of the mom who'd run in place because she liked the feeling, come from?
They'd miss a shopping cart with four heads of lettuce in it for the week.
True enough, there are some days where it's impossible to believe that not fitting in can ever be a good thing. But trust me on this ... stay WHO YOU ARE, you will not be sorry.
Some day, your kids will begin to tell a story about you, and they won't be able to finish that first sentence without a laugh they can't control.
My children ask me at least three times a day, "Are you okay? You're acting weird again." I'm used to their question.
They will ask, but there is no trace of alarm in their voice.
I have thrown in the towel on blending in, I surrender, I know I will never be the one that slips through without a notice.
I will, instead, one day be one-hundred-and-three-years old, sitting in a double diaper that has been soaked through, laughing and talking to myself while I stare out a window in wonder of the life I've had; and if one of my children happen to be there blessing me with their company, I will stifle a laugh with my gnarled fingers and whisper to them, "Remember that time I may have peed a little on that five point harness when the zip-line took off??"