By Debbie O'Connor
"Mom, you're so weird," my seven-year-old, conqueror of the universe insisted.
Taking a sip of my cold coffee-shudder-I peered at Daniel over the rims of my pink Sally Jesse Raphael glasses I bought in 1990 and closed my laptop. In my best Obi Wan impression, I attempted to impart wisdom into my small Padawan learner.
"Everyone is weird, son."
My ten-year-old daughter Kayla's head snapped out of the Poke'mon clouds in which she dwells. I had their attention.
I sighed, pushing aside my latest, greatest work of literary art to teach. "There is no such thing as weird. God gave each of us special abilities and interests-no two people are alike."
Daniel's look suggested I'd grown another nose. Undaunted, I proceeded with my lesson.
"See, Kayla is sensitive and creative. She likes to pretend, make up stories and read. You love to make people laugh, so you throw yourself around, snort and make faces. I love to write. We're all different and God can use us in different ways."
"Yeah, my friend Sally is a good singer. She can read Braille and is really smart," Kayla added.
"I make up stories too," Daniel interjected. "I'm going to write seven books about a werewolf and get them published. Then they'll be movies and maybe a video game. I'm going to build houses and ships and sell them in the front yard, too."
"You're definitely an idea man, Daniel," I said laughing. "You just have to remember that talking about your plans is not the same as working at them."
Daniel rolled his eyes. His book plans have dominated conversation in our household for weeks. To save my sanity, I've insisted that he write before talking. He earns short rights to discuss his dreams for bits of progress.
"The world would be a boring place if everyone was exactly like everyone else. God made us different on purpose and each of us have different, beautiful gifts to share."
I went back to work on my masterpiece. Kayla returned to her Poke'-fantasies and Daniel continued his entrepreneurial dreams.
Several weeks later, my son decided he wanted to start an "Underground Club." He planned to dig caves in the backyard where he and his friends could live. After forbidding him to dig and dealing with his distress, I tried to convince him that this was an impractical dream. In exasperation, I said, "Son, you're just weird."
"Everyone's weird, Mom," he replied.
DEBBIE O'CONNOR lives north of New Orleans with her husband of 12 years and their two children, Daniel and Kayla. Her writing has been used by a variety of webzines, newsletters and ministries. She recently gave up homeschooling and began work as a Preschool Teacher's Aide in the Christian school her children attend. She spends school naptimes working on a novel for young adults. If you would like to write to Debbie, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.