“I like being called weird.” – Neela
“This food tastes weird. That means I like it.” – Titus
“Daddy, you got a weird neck. I love to squish it. It's my favorite.” – Olive
Being weird gets a bad rap in our society. While I don’t view it as derogatory for people to try to be normal, I just think everyone has some stuff about them that’s 100% unique. It’s so sad when people choose not to embrace it. In the Megow house, being “weird” is viewed as something we each strive to achieve. Not to just be weird for weird’s sake, but for each of us to be 100% ourselves. As a parent and a former “weird kid”, it’s so interesting seeing and nurturing my kids’ own individualism. Mostly, I just want to foster a safe place in our home for my kids to be completely themselves. I think one of my main goals is to really, highlight and compliment little things that are uniquely them.
I’m a big believer in the concept of nature vs nuture. Some skills and attributes can be learned or taught; however others are just kinda engrained in our DNA. I like to think every family tree has their own special mini superpower. Whether it is athleticism, organizational skills, musical talent, charm, drive for success, or any multitude of various intelligences, I believe everyone is born with something that just runs in their gene pool. The other day I randomly realized what the Megow family engrained mini superpower was. We are almost all impervious to peer pressure. I’m dead serious. Megows just kind of do whatever the heck they want and really don’t pay much mind to fitting any sort of social mold. If you know my family, I believe you will immediately recognize this. My parents are completely themselves. As I lovingly explained earlier, they are pretty weird. Tom and Denise just do their own things. My dad wore wooden clog shoes as a nurse anesthetist in the hospital for decades without really caring whatever anyone would think. Just because he liked them. Then transitioned careers to start a local food bank. That career move was a significant decrease in pay. I’m sure he could have measured his career by his peers or people that voiced their strong opposition to his decision. But he just did what he felt led to do. And well my mom… I have literally never met a person who is so hard to explain with words as Denise Megow. I talk about her (or do my impression of her… which she loves. hahaha) quite frequently with my friends. I love trying to explain her larger than life personality mixed with a quirky artistic flair and a gentleness that can be reserved at times, but it still very evident when it needs to be. She could not care less about whatever you think about her. She is not influenced by your opinion or thoughts on her decision. I freaking love that about both of my parents. They embrace their weirdness.
Tom: "Hey Honey. What should we do for this year’s Christmas Card photo?”
Denise: “I have a good idea. Let’s all go in the goat yard and just kinda see what unfolds on film.”
Megow Holiday Picture Circa 1996
So moving on from parents to me and my crew, I absolutely love the idea of my kids not giving a rip about what other people think. True; there are social norms, common courtesy, and a moral code to uphold, but I’m talking about them just being themselves. If they choose to be interested, dress, act, more mainstream, I’m completely cool with that as well. Mostly, I just want them to be the truest version of themselves. I kinda view it like dancing in public. How many of us dance around the house or in the car listening to music? But when the same song comes on at a wedding reception or social event, we just stand there and stare at the one “weird person” cutting a rug on the dance floor. My goal is for my kids to always be that “weird person”. Just completely void of peer pressure to live life the way they want.
Seth. Keepin' it classy.
Now, I’m not saying weird people are the best (but we secretly are right? *wink* ) I just wanted to express how much I love when people are truly themselves whatever that may look like. My kids love to wear their clothes on backwards and inside out. They think it’s so fashionable. Do I let them go everywhere like that? No. But when we go to the park or go out to eat, I let my kids wear whatever the heck they want. When we go to the park, if they want to crawl around on all fours like baby cats and pretend to hawk up hairballs by the swings then I say, freaking go for it. Why not?
I don’t know if it’s my complete lack of influence to peer pressure or if it’s a single dad thing, but I’ve kinda just given on up making my clan fit into a mold of society. Of course, I train them that there are times to conform a little (don’t give your friends cat baths at school or you can’t wear inside-out bathing suit trucks with a tuxedo shirt to church, etc.) However for the most part, if my kids want to do, eat, wear, or act a certain way that’s not inappropriate or disrupting I’m pretty cool with it. I view my responsibility as a parent to be a role model for kindness, love, hard work, integrity, and encouragement. Like I said earlier I still teach them social norms, right & wrong, and appropriate behavior, but besides that I love my kids being themselves, in whatever way that might look.
Seth: "Ok guys. No school today, so you get to come to work with dad,
and you can wear whatever you want."
Who knows if my kids will decide to go full weird? Maybe they will choose to be like their dad and decide to wear only polyester disco shirts their entire eighth grade year of school. Or maybe not. Mostly, I just want them to comfortable expressing however they choose to be. And one day when they do get called “weird” to be able to confidently look at the person, smile, and say “Thanks. You’ve made my day.” And they just continue on their way…
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,