When I was younger, I was not a normal kid. I got mono when I was supposed to have a growth spurt so I was temporarily half the height and weight of my peers. On top of that, my mom (love you bean) got me a sweet haircut I can only describe as….Harry Potter on a 9 year old? Oh and glasses. Not just small cute girl glasses. Big fat tortoise shell bifocals. All of that awkward, unattractiveness in one little girl would be enough for a rough time with other kids, but nope, I had to add a love of reptiles. Sugar and spice did not make a Meg. Frog legs and mud pies made a Meg.
Why tell you this? My childhood could have been rough. I was bullied really badly. To be honest, until I got married, I still got bullied daily for being too thin/small/eat-a-sandwich/insert insult here. Luckily, I was surrounded by really really great people who never once made me feel different or unusual. My best friend since I was 3 is still to this day the most beautiful girl I have ever met – and she never ever once made me feel less than. My mom, of course, was a mom who thought I was a precious little girl and preached the “haters gonna hate” mantra basically my whole life.
But the REAL reason I turned out alright…The REAL reason I was okay with being me and proud of who I was…was
because of my dad. My dad was the one who would not pacify me if I started
thinking that what others said might be true. My dad was the one who said “Are you kidding me? Don’t be normal. Normal is boring. Normal is ordinary. Are you ordinary and boring, Meg? NO! Let your freak flag fly, little girl. You do you.” And I did. I did me. Love or hate me – I am a weird, quirky, stubborn, loyal, opinionated, creative person, because that’s what my dad taught me to be.
My dad is a pretty cool guy. My earliest memories of him are sitting on a porch listening to classical music. He taught me harmony, minor/major chords and how to listen to the story of music. I could sing before I could talk. We danced often. (His favorite thing to dance to is weather on the 8s on the weather channel.) He taught me about wooshland: a magical place where the music that makes you wistful lives. Wooshland is a state of mind. A state of peace. A state of fairy tales.
My favorite thing about my dad is his love of all things fun. Dad is my Peter Pan stuck in the body of a man in his 60s. Life is too short to be an adult, I think, and he whole heartedly agrees. For holidays, we get him remote control planes, make your own snow kits, marshmallow guns – you name it. The guy loves toys. And starting in
October (much to my mom’s dismay – she has him pushing it to November currently lol), the house turns into Christmas. The music plays throughout the house, it’s decorated in every single room. It’s magic. We go to the Nutcracker every year because we love it so much.
When my niece visits their house, they get to pick a holiday and Dad decorates accordingly, no matter what time of year. If it’s Christmas in July, he will shred newspaper and they pretend it is snowing. When we all get together, they often disappear to create a show for all of us that premieres later that evening. I know, he’s awesome, right?
I’m so thankful for the person that my dad is. The fun he creates. The strength he demands. He’s stubborn like crazy, but that’s okay. At the end of the day, I’ll take someone stubborn who will go outside and shoot nerf guns with me any day.
I love you, Baboon.