I was an audacious child. Chubby, a head taller than even the boys, with a head full of white-blonde hair always flying everywhere (and was permed all to hell most of my childhood, thank you mother.) I stood out. And I didn't mind, honestly, I didn't know enough to mind. I liked being loud, know-it-all, wise-ass, the kind of kid that annoy the living shit out of adults because I just wouldn't shut up.
I was also a child that was voracious for knowledge. I can remember reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. My parents, while they were no intellectual slouches, were damn near appalled when I picked up the 1975 Guiness Book of World Records, because it was the biggest book in the house, and proceeded to read it cover-to-cover multiple times. I can remember overhearing (eavesdropping was another of my many talents) them discuss whether or not I was normal. The consensus was probably, but dad wasn't ever entirely convinced.
Now, most people my age will tell you their favorite books at age 10 were something of the Babysitter's club variety or the "Are you Afraid of the Dark" series. And while I had read every single one of these books that I could get my hands on, at age 10, I started my first James Patterson novel. At that age, it bored me, and to be honest, my favorite book was always "The Big Book of Tell Me Why," a 600+ page behoemeth of scientific questions, answers, experiments and inquiries. While I'm not sure if my mother gave it to me to see if I even comprehended, or was just trying to keep me entertained for an extended amount of time, I have to say, she succeeded in encouraging my pursuit of knowledge of anything and everything.
She never said it, but I guess, in her own way, by allowing me to march to my very loud, out of tune, unfashionhable, off-beat drummer, my mother was telling me that it's OK to be smart. It's OK not to care about hair or clothes or fashion. This must have been difficult for a woman who cared very much about how we (she, us and dad) looked upon exiting the house. While life may be a little more awkward, painful even embarassing in the younger years without these less lofty pursuits, I have to say that it is infinitely simpler to learn fashion at age 20 than learn curiosity and thirst for knowledge at that age.
So thank you mother, for giving me my very own little freak flag, and allowing me to let it fly. It couldn't have been easy.
Also, a nod to the blog who inspired me to write this post: http://iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com/ as she's dedicated to letting her little men be who they are going to be. Even if (when) they have mustache fascinations and crusty boy-looks in photos.