Tonight as I was tucking my daughter into bed and we were lying in the dark as part of our nightly ritual (thanks, Hands Free Mama for making us declare this time as sacred), she quietly asked if she could ask any question she wanted. I assured her that no topic was off-limits and that this was our time. She asked, ‘Mom, do you think I’m weird?’. I sat there silently for a moment…grasping for the right words to say to her. This was not the first time she had asked this question. I knew I had to remember my previous answer, because baby girl has a mind like a steel trap. If my answer was even just a little bit different this time, she would be suspicious.
I brushed her hair off her forehead and asked, ‘Do you think you’re weird?’ She thought about it and said, ‘Well, no. I don’t know if ‘weird’ is the right word’. I told her I agreed and asked her if she thought she might be ‘unique’ instead. She agreed that ‘unique’ was a much better descriptor and she said that she was proud to be unique. Then she smiled and quickly said, ‘G’night mom! I love you.’ Whew…bullet dodged on my part. Or was it?
I felt compelled write my thoughts down for her in a much more intentional manner. I wanted her to be able to refer to this anytime she was questioning herself, in hopes that it would boost her spirits and remind her of the precious soul that she is. This child is here to change the world…we just don’t know how she will do it yet.
To begin, I actually dusted off ole Mr. Webster. Here’s what I found:
Full Definition of WEIRD
Ok, so I’m pretty sure we can just take the witchcraft thing off the table. However, when I consider most of the rest of the definition, I realize much of it does describe her. Magical? Absolutely. In every moment. Of extraordinary character? You’d better believe it. Why would you want to be any other way? Odd? Sure… Fantastic? Definitely.
Below is my attempt to write her a letter in response to her question:
Dear Sweet Daughter of Mine,
Tonight, you asked me if I thought you were weird. I considered your question and then lobbed it back into your court, until we settled on the descriptor of ‘unique’ as a more accurate term. But I have continued to think about this question and I wanted to write you this letter as a better, more thoughtful response.
I don’t know why you asked the question. Maybe someone at school or one of your friends called you weird. Maybe you realize that the way you think about things and process the world is completely unique to you and that it’s one of your special gifts. Maybe you sometimes wonder where you fit in? Or maybe the question came for another reason. It doesn’t much matter.
This is what I want you to know:
If weird means being an absolutely extraordinary person who is not afraid to put herself out to the world, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means being able to see the world in a way no one else does, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means listening to your inner voice as a source of inspiration and then following those instincts, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means describing yourself to your classmates as having integrity and doing the right thing when no one is looking at the age of 8 (!!!), then yes...you are weird.
If weird means flowing through life at your own relaxed pace, regardless of external influences and trivial pressures, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means harnessing your creative genius and using your artistic talent to express it, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means having perseverance beyond measure, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means having an extra dose of the ‘empathy’ gene, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means being open to trying new things (experiences, foods, activities) even when they are outside your comfort zone, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means always seeing the positive in every situation, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means choosing sparkles and color over black and neutrals, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means dreaming big dreams and knowing you will reach them, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means choosing to be kind over being right, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means sharing your light with the world, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means being extraordinary, unique, fantastic and magical, then yes…you are weird.
If weird means profoundly touching the lives of everyone you meet for the better, then yes…you are weird.
You are an extraordinary girl who is here to do great things. Remember who you are. Cherish and celebrate your gifts. And know that your family loves you more than you could ever imagine. We are thankful for you each and every day. I am honored and humbled to have the privilege of being your mom.
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