Weird is the opposite of normal, and for the sake of this piece, “normal” is like what everyone else does. Given that, my daughters are weird.
In some circles around here, being home educated makes them weird. They enjoy school and learning. They have tons of free time. They get weeks off at a time. When they’re not having structured lessons, they learn life lessons; this week, it’s a review of preserving apples, tomatoes, and herbs.
They save their money. My younger daughter, aged 6, has a fat wad of money saved from birthdays and Christmases that we keep in a safe place for her. She could get it if she wanted, and she only has to ask if she wants us to get it down for her. But every other bit of money she gets, from earning it to finding coins on the sidewalk, goes into her boat fund. When it comes to shopping, she just waits until she has gift cards.
They earn their money. My older daughter, aged 12, mows lawns and does chores to earn money, and this money goes to mission trips, clothes, and anything else she wants. We supply her needs, but having to work and earn money has made her a lot more deliberate in how she determines her wants. The girls across the street from us – teenagers both – find her completely fascinating. They ask her where she gets her clothes, what she learns, and so forth. Mary gets clothes for her birthday and Christmas, and she uses her own money for whatever else she wants. She likes to shop consignment stores for that stuff; she doesn’t see the point in paying full price when she’ll only be able to wear a garment for a year at the most. The older of the girls told Mary, “I buy whatever I want.” Mary cocked her head,
looked at her, and asked, “How will you learn how to manage your money?” The girl just repeated that she buys whatever she wants. OK. That’s great until you’re an adult and real life steps in.
Because the girls earn and save their own money, they have learned how to wait for things they want to have. It started out with waiting for a sale or some special deal. Once they experienced the rewards of waiting to buy something, they discovered that it’s nothing to wait for other things. When I promise something fun, they are cool with waiting, and they do well when something affects our plans, making us have to wait even longer.
I don’t mind being weird, and I like having weird children. It’s my belief that weird children grow up to be weird adults, and weird adults tend to make iNcReDiBlE things happen.