This year’s Thanksgiving is a time for showing love and appreciation for all that makes us unique. My family is not a cookie-cutter family. We’re weird. Just like yours. But I’m learning to be OK with that; with the idea that weird is normal and if you ain’t weird, you’re in denial. I’d rather be part of a weird family than a family that tries really really hard to be perfect. It enables some freedom, some creativity, some ability to be who you are – even if that means your family’s puzzle pieces don’t fit smoothly together in a picture of nuclear family bliss.
America’s family is not a nuclear family anymore and it is liberating. We have step parents and step brothers and sisters, women breadwinners, stay-at-home dads, dual-income fur-parents, same sex power couples, and single free spirits. We practice all different religions, or maybe none. We are black, brown, white, latino, and sometimes a mix of all four. I think it is becoming more and more clear that this new normal is the majority. There are people that don’t like that, but I think it’s refreshing. I think that if we can be one people, not separated by our characteristics, then we are allowed the freedom to be ourselves. Isn’t that what we all want? After all, we don’t each only fit one mold, one unique characteristic, one stereotype. We’re all weird and wonderful in our own way, but we’re all weird and wonderful.
Please spread some love this Thanksgiving. Embrace the weird and uncomfortable because it’s your family’s own fingerprint. I am trying to do the same. I’m trying to celebrate my family’s new normal and let all things aside but love and appreciation. Family is all you’ve got and they are your flavor of weird. And weird doesn’t discriminate by any characteristic.