Quitter Blog – Accepting My Weirdness: My Mom and the Paper Mache Alligator

Admit it, I’ve peaked your interest haven’t I? And for those of you who have read even a few of my posts on here, you may not be surprised by what follows.

I’m a little weird. Bossy can vouch for it and I like to think that it’s one of the many reasons she enjoys my company. And I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t always so okay with it.

When I was younger being different wasn’t easy. As a teenager, while my friends were obsessing about boys and parties, I was busy reading cheesy books like “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” writing bad poems and making monster makeup out of my Fresh n’ Fancy makeup kit. I was introverted and unusual and so very uncool.

But now that I’m in my forties, my weirdness is something I cherish. I’ve come to view it as a strength, rather than a weakness. And now sometimes my odd ideas manifest in nonsensical art projects. For example, I currently have a burning desire to create a life size paper-mache alligator. Why? To see if I can and also how cool would that be? And, if I’m being honest, it would be the fulfillment of a weird teenage dream.

Believe it or not, I did try to make one when I was a young teen, but failed miserably. Practically speaking there were huge structural issues with my creation and it fell apart before it was finished. Now, three decades later, I feel like giving it another try. I’m thinking chicken wire and duct tape might be the magical ingredients needed to bring my reptilian vision to life.

So how the hell does this random story relate to my mom? Because it will eventually demonstrate what a rock star of a parent she was and is. (Bare with me here, remember I’m a little scattered at times, but I promise this will all make sense soon.)

When I started my crazy “Gator Project,” all those years ago, my mom didn’t say a word to me about using the dining room table night after night to do it. Looking back I can now appreciate how she always supported my creative pursuits and never demanded that I be practical or show her a finished product. She was just happy that I was happy making stuff.

And now I see that for the tremendous gift it was. Consciously or not, my mom planted some pretty important seeds of creativity and self-acceptance within me. Her lack of judgment regarding my unusual creative pursuits allowed me to blossom into the creative, eccentric weirdo I am now proud to be.

So to honour both my creative spirit and my mother, I think I’ll give my crazy “Gator Project,” another try. (It’s currently about 2am in the morning. I wonder if there are any all-night chicken wire stores anywhere? Maybe I can get it delivered.)

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