as summer winds down, i have been taking an inventory of things i have learned over the summer. some of the basics aren't really new, such as sometimes my boys are super amazing together and sometimes they're like rabid dogs at each others' throats. i have seen how fish can play well with other kids, but only on her terms; when she is done playing and wants to be left alone, she is loud enough and big enough that she can get her way.
other things, though, are truths i suppose i should have realized long ago but have been blind to. this summer, and all of the activities we've participated in, have reinforced those truths. or truth, because there is one that is all encompassing and umbrellas all small nuggets of wisdom. it is that my family is strange.
now yes, i know, in this day it is kind of hip to say that everyone should be their own unique person and kids should be themselves and be proud when they are. still, there are social acceptable norms that a family shouldn't stray too far from, kind of like it's ok to be weird, just not too weird. my family blast through those lines without looking back.
like when we all go to play at the playground for some outside family fun, and it is my kids that are yelling and screaming and carrying on too loudly. and bumble is playing with the very little kids because he doesn't get along well with those of his size. and fish is jumping off of things and crying that she hurt herself, and when i call her over to see if she's ok the first thing out of her mouth is she wants to know if she's in trouble. and lumpy making everything into a gun or weapon or some war game, making very specific references to violent video games he probably shouldn't know. and all the while i am getting judgy side-eye from all the other parents for ruining their peaceful day out.
it's also fun to get confirmation your kids are the weird ones when they go to scout camp by themselves. and one doesn't play so well with others because they are a very strict rule follower, and they get into fights with other kids who want to play and maybe don't follow the rules to the letter, and that's not ok by them. and then the other one, who has known social issues, has so much trouble interacting with the other boys that the leaders have to sit everyone down and explain that bullying is not ok.
i already have issues going out and interacting with others in public, i would be very happy never to have to leave the house. the fact that my kids are the weird kids does not make going out any easier. i don't really help myself though, because i am always overly prepared, with a giant purse filled with just in case supplies, and i am terrible at small talk so i don't try to make any, and when i do end up talking i trail off mid-sentence or talk too fast and too loud.
so yeah, all the interactions we've had this summer has just confirmed what i always feared, that my family is the weird family. and so much these days says to revel in your strangeness and embrace your differences, but it's hard when you live in a conservative area and being different isn't always celebrated. at least i know it'll never be boring around here.