Weekends at home are a pure relaxation from the routine. Unless there’s a judo, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer competition, etc., wake-ups can be as late as 11 in the morning. Breakfasts turn into brunch, and meals easily merge into afternoon snacks or early dinners.
But sometimes, my son wakes up at a ‘socially acceptable’ hour, and we share a breakfast at a time that the universe outside our home considers normal. One of those days, we were both there in the kitchen, having our breakfast, talking about our things, and my son tells me that sometimes, when he wakes up, his upper eyelid twitches. My automatic response was to tell him it must be the lower eyelid and that it’s ‘normal.’ He corrects me, saying he knows perfectly where HIS eyelid twitches and points to the spot. My response, also automatic, was, ‘Look at how peculiar you are.’ But it didn’t end there because my 9-year-old son looked at me seriously and said, ‘I’m not peculiar, Mom; if anything, I’m different from others.’
It was at that moment when I stood there petrified, with a huge smile – one of those that your face can’t contain – and a heart so filled with pride that it seemed like it was going to burst. He gave me such a significant lesson right there in our kitchen, with our abnormal routine. ‘I’M NOT WEIRD, I’M JUST DIFFERENT,’ he said, with the naturalness and simplicity that only someone who has understood everything can possess.
How easy it is to label ourselves as ‘weird’ every time we are different. And how challenging it is to see the obvious: we are different. As my mother used to tell me, ‘We are unique and unrepeatable.’ And that is what contributes to human richness. And that is the challenge, to learn and respect the difference.
So, remember, every time something deviates from the norm, it is NOT WEIRD, it is DIFFERENT.
This anecdote, which made me reflect and that I share with you today, is entirely the creation of my son. A 9-year-old who teaches us every day and constantly reflects back to us.