Before I explain how my kid is weird, I should tell you that in our house, ‘weird’ has no negative connotations whatsoever. When Ryan was about 6, she called me the ‘w’ word. I asked, “Is that a bad thing?” She said, “No, Mama. I would rather you be weird like you are than be boring. You’re not boring at all!” It was at that moment I knew she was getting it. And it was cool.
I should also explain (to people who don’t have children under the age of 12 in their lives) what Webkinz are. Picture a wide array of the cutest stuffed animals you’ve ever seen… all priced at $10 or $15 each. Attached to each animal is a tag with a special, one-of-a-kind code (like a social security number). Buy the animal and you can log the code into Webkinz.com, where you then obtain a virtual version of your pet to play with online. It usually comes with its own room, which can be decorated in various themes. It’s actually a pretty cool, creative, safe, FREE (after you buy the stuffed animal, that is) website. Ryan loves it and she’s got a crapload of these critters. Here are 3 of them…Meet Stuart, Tucky, and Sweet Pea.
So, I passed by the computer this afternoon while Ryan was playing in Stuart’s virtual room.
Me: Hey, Stuart has a menorah in his room.
Ry: Uh huh.
Me: Is he Jewish?
Ry: No. He just thinks Christmas isn’t the only important holiday.
Me: Does he?
Ry: Yes. He thinks it’s important to learn about other cultures.
Me: Oh. Well, he’s right. Plus, he gets 8 more presents!
Ry (looking stern): He’s not in it for the stuff, Mommy.
Me (looking chastised): Oh. Sorry. And good for him for not being materialistic.
Ry: Tucky and Sweet Pea celebrate Kwanzaa, you know.
Me: Really? Are they black?
Ry: Mommy, do they look black?
Me: Well, no. That’s why I asked. The only people I know who celebrate Kwanzaa are black.
Ry: Well, they’re not but they feel like Stuart. They think different is good and we should learn about different cultures because they’re interesting and it helps us to understand each other.
Me: Do they? Well, you know I think different is good, too. And I think they’re all pretty cool.
Ry: Yeah, I raised them well.
It’s weird to hear your own words come back at you from the mouth of your child. It’s weirder still to hear them applied to a mouse, a cocker spaniel, and a duck. Weird… but good… very, very good. There are days when Ryan’s just completely rotten and I think I’ve got this whole ‘mother’ thing all wrong. But then there are those days… good days… when I realize my kid is weird (in the best possible way) and I’m just so grateful and proud.