Friday, March 14, 2014

In Support of Quirky

Slice of Life Challenge, Day 14

I am that mom. Walking out the door with my two little boys in tow on our way to preschool this morning, I realize that I am the quirky mom. The one who wears big black combat boots with a Goodwill vintage crushed velvet coat to drop her boys off at school. The one who hesitates only a minute when her five-year-old asks if he can bring his Zed the Zombie in for "Z" week.  He brought zucchini seeds in yesterday, tame enough. I am that quirky mom...and I am proud of that.

I suppose that I have always been quirky. I'm pretty sure that I was the only kid in my grade who was wearing clothing she had sewed herself.  And ever since doning my first pair of glasses as a freshman in college, I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair of cat's eye frames long before they were ever considered a hipster trend (I finally found them a few years ago at a flea market in Philly). My parents supported my quirkiness, as did my teachers. I have been fortunate in that I am surrounded by people who have not just tolerated my bit of weirdness, but encourage it.

And I want to be an encouraging force for quirkiness.  Being quirky is a conversation starter.  The number and diversity of people that I have met as a result of my glasses is proof alone. On a fairly regular basis, someone will tap my shoulder to ask where I found my glasses or tell me a story about a loved one who wore the exact same pair in the 60s.  Being quirky has opened up a host of opportunities and connections. Because I'm a bit of an oddball, a vintage-wearing, baby-clothes-sewing, creative-writing, geeky-tech, DIY-type, people don't hesitate to ask me for help on projects. And so I've had opportunities to collaborate and connect with all sorts of people from all walks of life.

So working with high school students, who are in the throes of figuring out who they are, who they want to be, I want to be an encouraging force for quirkiness.  I will randomly break out in song. I will dress up for Halloween every year. I will talk like a pirate on September 19th.  I will show students how to create web pages and write ovillejos. I will debate the ending of Allegiant and celebrate Holi with students.  My quirkiness is a reflection of my diverse interests and passions, my willingness to try new things.  To be a risk-taker.  As Walt Whitman once wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes." And so I will be an encouraging force for quirkiness.
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