Friday, November 29, 2013

Episode 18: Thanksgiving: Klaskins-Style (aka in celebration of the abnormal)

I never wanted to be different.

Growing up I was a bit on the "stocky" side and I had a few early run-ins with bullies who made fun of me for my less-than-slender, childhood frame.  From these encounters, the message was clear: don't be different. Look like everyone else. It's easier that way.

And so for awhile, I tried my best to "blend in," to find "normal," to be someone unworthy of observation.

Praise God adolescence is only a phase; thank the Lord that the sting of a bully's taunt grows faint with time. Because now different seems pretty darn great. 

Yesterday, I gathered at a Thanksgiving table with my partner of many years, Sarah Nichole Klaassen. We're a same sex family within a world that sometimes feels so very heteronormative...

Different? Yep. 
 Hard to blend in? Absolutely. 
 Just where I want to be?  100 %, hands down, without a doubt, for sure. 

The meal we shared with two members of our wonderful family--Hannah Klaassen and Jason Gerig--was meat free and made from scratch.  No Butterball, no Pillsbury, no birds.

We won't go shopping today, won't make a purchase. But we will gather with friends, sing carols, be together. Give thanks.

Different? Yep. 
Hard to blend in? Absolutely. 
Just where I want to be?  100 %, hands down, without a doubt, for sure.
  
If I could offer a message to my 13-year-old self, it would be this: don't try so hard to fit-in kiddo.


Because In the end, it's the different ones, the crazy ones, the a-little-less-than-all-there ones, who will bring you joy, laugh with you at holiday tables, who will be your heroes. 



 


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