My nine-year old daughter Anna pronounced me to be “weird” the other day, uttering the phrase with exaggerated eye rolling and put upon sighing. I didn’t take any offense to being called weird. On the contrary, when she sticks me in the weird old dads home, I’ll be in charge of raising the weirdo flag each morning. Its a blessing that the kid has decided I’m too odd to dignify. It means that Anna’s not buying into b.s., just because much of the world is pedaling it. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that calling me weird is another moment of validation for me. At every stage of my life I’ve been weird. There is consistency in the universe.
I remember meeting my daughter for the first time about 15 minutes after she was born. She’d gotten Apgar scores that should have gone on the refrigerator, and I was then allowed to hold her. What a strange afternoon. I was watching either a Utah college football game, or women’s aquatic curling. The t.v. was a blurry mess. To compound the problem, there were several people in the room screaming. A normal Saturday afternoon, to be sure, except that we’d been at the hospital for hours. My wife was yelling something at me and I had the presence of mind to walk over and do a Benny Hinn “Be Healed!” tap on her forehead. At some point the screaming ended and the room cleared. A nurse handed me Anna and then left. Not fair. Despite having seen numerous after-school specials, I had no idea what to do with a baby. So I sat and rocked and talked to the child. “Well, I guess we’re in it for life, kid.” I said, and Anna just kind of pursed her newborn face and wrinkled her brow. “Yeah dad, and you’ll be weird for life, too.” She said in no words at all.