Something has been grating on my nerves lately, nagging at my brain, and I can’t quite figure out why.
I live in a pretty affluent suburb, a very conservative community, that’s populated mostly by families. Weekends for most people consist of children’s activities, leisure and recreation, church and short getaways. It’s an idyllic place to live.
If you fit in.
First off, I have to say that I have lots of amazing friends. I’m very involved in my church, which is here in my neighborhood, so I’ve definitely found my place! But as my children are getting older and growing into who they are, I’ve started to notice things.
I’m someone who stands out. My hair is currently a plum color (it’s been much more dramatic!) and I make a lot of bold clothing choices. I love shoes and fun jewelry and hair accessories, so it’s not unusual for me to get a comment or look regarding my appearance.
I have 2 daughters, 13 and 10. They’re both beautiful. My husband and I have heard for years that our older daughter should pursue a modeling career, and our younger daughter is like a little china doll. They’re also 2 of the most unique kids I’ve ever known.
Morgan, the 13-year-old, is bright and artistic and currently has purple hair and an obsession with alternative rock. She’s also on the autism spectrum with an anxiety disorder, so her manner doesn’t always come across as friendly and social. Her clothes sometimes match, but often don’t, she usually has ear buds in and may or may not respond if you speak to her. We’re working on that.
Mackenzie, the 10-year-old, is happy and creative and has her own world going on in her head. She may start talking to you midway through a conversation she’s having in her own mind and you’ll be completely lost. I’ve learned to just go with it. She loves to wear dresses but hates to brush her hair or wear nice shoes. It’s an interesting look.
All of this to say that we make a somewhat odd looking little family in our mostly white, Republican (I won’t even go there), wealthy, suburban community.
This isn’t new, and it’s never really bothered me. But a couple of weeks ago we were leaving church, and I happened to turn and see someone looking my daughter up and down with an expression of disgust on her face. Like, “How could you come here looking like THAT?”
Since that incident I guess I’ve just been more aware. We’re really concerned with how we appear, aren’t we? And how our children appear?
I could force my kids into what I wanted them to wear, so that we could look like everyone else. My parents did it, and I hated it. But it could be done. I just don’t see the point.
I realize that this is my problem, not anyone else’s. It’s bothering me for some reason, and whatever that reason is, it doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. I guess I just need to figure it out and deal with it.
By the way, my husband looks completely normal. He’s the one who sticks out in this house 😉