I wish I could say that this was a staged photo or that I asked them to look absurd for a photo op.  Truth is, I came downstairs to ask my son, who was working on his drumset, a question and saw my other kids playing video games with their ski googles on.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I spoke to my son as if everything was normal and then I went about my business.  Years later when I ask my kids about why they were wearing ski goggles while playing Call of Duty they pretty much shrugged their shoulders and said “it seemed like the right thing to do at the time”.  Granted, Anna was only about 7 at the time and would do anything her brothers asked, but it still struck me as being a bit weird.  Yet, isn’t that okay?  I mean, isn’t it okay to be a little weird?

If you look around your day to day life, you could probably point out many things that are normal or predictable.  I leave for work at the same time everyday; I drink coffee; I eat lunch at 11:30; I feed my dog; I go to Meijer for groceries on Thursday; I get gas at the EZ Mart; I wave at the neighbor as they get home from work at 5:46; I eat a sandwich for lunch, something hot for dinner, and cheese for snacks; I golf on Wednesday; I mow my yard 2x a week; I run everyday; I buy the same laundry soap, dish soap and bar soap without fail; I do many routine things throughout the week – we all do.  If you think about it, you could sketch your life out upon the day/month/year.  And then, you look at your kids, playing video games with ski goggles on.  And as much as it should throw you off, it doesn’t.  It doesn’t even seem weird.

I don’t know if it’s funnier that I think it’s normal and seem otherwise unfazed, or if they think this is what all people do, or if we non-chalantly just glance and then look away, or if it’s just something that all families can relate too or what.  But when I look back on this moment in time all I can think of is “stay weird, my darlings, stay weird”.

Years later, I look at this picture not only with melancholy but with laughter and a bit of pride.  Pride in that these kids have grown to be exactly who they are supposed to be.  They are confident in who they are, where they are, and they know that  they are loved, no matter what.  It’s okay to be different.  It’s okay to be odd.  It’s okay to be who you are, where you are, wherever you are.  And if you want to wear ski goggles while you go about your daily life, do it.  Stay weird, my friends.  Stay weird.

With love from Grand Haven,