The past few weeks have been full of forms… school registration, medical history, emergency cards… all the fill in the blanks that come with the beginning of a new school year.
By form #4,385, it dawns on me how often I check the “other” box. How many times we don’t fit into the choices listed and I have to spend a bit more time explaining a circumstance that does not fit neatly into any category.
I have to say I don’t enjoy writing more, I would much rather be clicking away at a laptop once the kids are in bed or watching reality television with wine in hand. I’m actually thinking of creating a few custom stamps to make the task less monumental. Maybe “she has autism but she also has a great smile and the kindest of hearts” or “if you call them twins we will switch schools faster than you can ring the school bell” and of course, “he is potty trained, sort of.”
“Other” used to be the place I dreaded most. It took me years to be comfortable in this box, outside all of the others. There are still days I wish things were easier or different or tied with a pretty pink bow but ultimately, they are not. And you know what? No one’s life is. If the forms were longer, if their were questions that asked about the true history behind each of us we would all have an “other” weaved somewhere along our path.
My household, planted firmly in the “other” box, is shaped by what makes us different and we might as well embrace it. Part of our story, maybe the most important part, is accepting what life has handed us and showing the world we are much more than what they see on paper or tantrum-ing through the grocery store aisles.
Our stories, yours, mine, the woman who just cut you off on the freeway’s have been molded by years of experiences, the good, the bad and the oh-my-gosh-how-am-I-still-standing. Take a minute today to embrace part of your life that you wish were different. It is part of you, a piece you might not have chosen if you had seen it typed neatly into your life, but part of your story none-the-less.
Maybe that’s why they make us use ink on all those annoying forms.
If you can’t erase it you might as well embrace it. (Hmm, maybe my new family motto???)
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