My husband and I work very hard to raise our children right. We want them to be nice, polite, thoughtful kids who are respectful of others and who work hard. And we have been very blessed with great kids. In between the moments when all we feel is a desire to knock their heads together and send them to Timbuktu, they provide us with many moments of pride in who they are.
Our greatest pride comes when we discover that they are, indeed, becoming as weird as we are. Not creepy, stand in front of the window in your underwear weird. Also not live in your parents basement till you’re forty, thinking Star Wars actually happened weird (although that’s closer, just not acceptable due to that first part).
But a good, healthy dose of weird is a wonderful thing for every child and adult to possess.
The weird we celebrate is what makes us laugh so very much at our children. I mean, not at our children in a mocking way, just at the things they do that make us so very proud of their inherited weirdness. Because you may not actually have realized this, but my husband and I are kinda weird too. I blame my parents for my weirdness. I think his just kind of happened.
My parents, who took such pride in teaching us to be weird through such instances as the Great Twineball Song Event, are also taking an active hand in raising my sons to be weird as well. The latest of their efforts in indoctrination is mostly my dad’s doing.
My father has taken it upon himself to introduce my kids to the Muppets. It started with them all hanging out on the couch watching The Muppet Show on DVD, but eventually we discovered that my kids’ favorite character (other than Animal, who they relate to on a visceral level), was the Swedish Chef. Of course this has everything to do with the fact that we are raising them to be culturally diverse, and nothing to do with the fact that the Swedish Chef prepares almost all his food by shooting it with a blunderbuss.
So now, at nearly every visit to my parents’ house, we’ll all be sitting around innocently sitting around, when suddenly from my dad’s computer speakers will issue the famous garble of the Swedish Chef and his unmistakable “Bork Bork Bork!” My children rush slavishly to the couch and fight over the best seat so that they can watch as the Chef shoots a muffin with his blunderbuss in order to create a donut. And then they laugh hysterically.
We did not realize how deep their love of the Swedish Chef truly ran until last Sunday, when my husband picked the boys up from Sunday School. There they were, the only two kids in the class, standing at the toy kitchen with two big toy pots full of toy food, singing the Swedish Chef song and talking about shooting their lettuces with the “blunderbussen.”
“They’ve been doing this for awhile,” the teacher said, laughing.
Yesterday, the boys were playing in their dungeon basement playroom, when Sam came running up the stairs saying “No! My don’t want to! No!”
My husband, using his incredible parenting skills, sensed that something was afoot even through his seminary-homework induced haze, and looked up from the table to see Ryan weilding a rather menacing-looking baseball bat in the direction of his younger brother.
“Ryan! What are you doing?”
“I’m the Swedish Chef, Dad! And Sammy is the turkey, and this is my blunderbussen!”
We are just so proud.