10 Ways My Family Lets Its Freak Flag Fly

by Joelle Wisler
Originally Published: 
weird family

I think “weird” comes in all shapes and sizes, as do families. You might have weird nicknames for each other or talk in a made-up language or sing nonsense songs to get your kids to brush their teeth. Those are just examples, you know. We wouldn’t do any of that, of course. That’s just insane.

Actually, we do all of that. It’s weird, I know. But we all have our own special brand of family strangeness, I’m sure of it.

Here are some ways that my family might look weird to your own weird family:

1. We teach our kids ALL the bad words.

We figure that they are going to learn them eventually, so they might as well know how to put them in context and use them appropriately. So far, we haven’t had any calls from school, but that may all change when our 5-year-old truck driver gets to kindergarten.

2. We often partake in ridiculous dancing that no one else in the world would ever want to see.

Ever. No, really. It would probably scare normal people. I didn’t dance with my parents growing up, so this always seems odd to me, at first. But then we flip some ’80s music on, and I’m seriously the dancing queen. I just hope my kids always remember me being a complete dork.

3. We celebrate the oddness and greatness of daily life.

“Wow, you’re wearing three pairs of socks on your hands and a tutu for a hat! Those are some bold choices, my friend.” High five! Rock your day! Go out and be a good person.

4. We have a lot of role-reversals happening.

Our son used to rock out in dresses and is the sensitive one, while our daughter acts like a dude on spring break most of the time. My husband does most of the cooking and is a much better communicator than me, and well, I’m possibly like a dude on spring break most of the time.

5. We live in the forest.

With bears. By choice. And our kids know how to identify most types of wildlife poop and what to do if they encounter a mountain lion. Also, it snows so much where we live that we have had to carry groceries up our hill on a sled before. I don’t know what we are thinking.

6. We get obsessed.

My son got a pogo stick this summer and managed to practice enough that he could jump 6,000 times in a row. My daughter is obsessed with building towers — crazy, intricate towers, over and over. I’m obsessed with writing and can get sucked in for hours at a time. My husband gets obsessed with sanding blocks of wood that end up all over our house as foot stools. It’s all kinda weird.

7. We are a dorky board game family.

Yahtzee, Catan, Hi Ho! Cherry-O, Monopoly, Candyland — we play them all. And I actually want to kick my kids’ butts every time.

8. We create weird-ass games with random stuff.

The latest one was with a soccer ball and a hula hoop, and we spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to kick the ball through the hoop while it spun — twice. Try it, it’s actually a great time.

9. We nap outside.

In hammocks and chairs or on blankets, and, you know, the bears. Once, our 3-year-old boy ran into the house from napping in his hammock because a big mama bear walked right by him. That might be a bit weird, right?

10. We sneak our kids out of school (sorry school!)

We ski or bike or just go to the movies. Once, our son had perfect attendance during a semester, and we felt like total failures as parents. Life is short and all that.

Our list of weird is so much longer than this, but it’s a start. Your family’s weird may or may not look a lot like ours.

Weird is fun. Weird is liberating. Weird is so much better than normal. So let’s all go out there and fly our freak flags proudly.


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