Just Write: Freaks







“I’m a freak.”

I was hardly listening so when I answered it was a gut reaction, “You’re not a freak silly” and I kept on making the bed, straightening the corners.

“They think I’m a freak.”

I still wasn’t listening, consumed with a bag to pack and the time on the clock slowly ticking away. However, I was still answering, “You are not. Hey, where did you learn that word?”

“They just said it on TV.” I twisted to see an episode of SVU on, which is normal in our house at any hour of the day.

“Well you’re not.” I concluded out loud, navigating the bedroom (stopping to plant a kiss on the crown of his head) carrying on with my Sunday morning duties and wondering if I should lay clothes out first or shower.

“Mommy?” he said. I looked over at him standing in front of the mirror wand in hand, shirt and argyle vest donned under his Hogwarts robe and small round black glasses circling his eyes.

It was 8am.

“Yeah buddy?”

“It’s okay if I’m a freak. I mean, I love Billy Joel and Willy Wonka of course. I know songs they don’t know and I like to make them do plays of Rocky at camp.”

I thought about what he was saying.

“I don’t think that makes you a freak, Jakey.”

But I worried.

I wondered.

Children are honest, raw and brutal. There are bullies who want nothing more than something (or someone) to make fun of and a child like Jacob is ripe prey.

Deep down I know how Jacob feels. He is a big thinker with a heart that is soft and all encompassing. He also doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how he’s perceived. He knows who and what he is, right now, in this moment.

Standing there in my bedroom I saw his life years from now as the creative and quirky kid in his class; the sensitive boy who remembered your favorite movies and colors, the outspoken twin who wore interesting outfits and took acting classes on Saturday mornings, the Piccini kid with the big personality.

All at once, I was glad that he wasn’t in public school. I knew first hand that a small Catholic class might not be enough to insulate him from teasing or ridicule but I also knew it could help to encourage his huge imagination.

“I’m a freak too.” I said to the air around us.

He nodded, “Because you love Harry Potter too? And your books? Oh and Mommy, you and me love Pride and Prejudice. “

“You and I.” I corrected.  “But yep.”  I answered sitting down on the bed and pulling him into my lap.

“You and I.” he repeated.

“…are freaks.”  I finished and hugged him close.


Every Tuesday Heather invites us to “Just Write”.


17 thoughts on “Just Write: Freaks”

  1. Awww. It is so hard to be anything but ordinary as a kid. Eventually those quirks will set him apart in good ways, but I’m glad that he isn’t second guessing himself now.

    1. I enjoy Jacob so much. Many times I feel like I am young again when I look at the world through his eyes. It’s an honor, to be his mom (and Gio’s too)


    1. I think our children are lucky to have all of us in this time in history. Many (most) moms I know embrace their children like this and it makes me happy. We are raising strong, unafraid kiddos. XO

    1. It’s a great club to be part of isn’t it??? I like being a little different and I love that Jacob embraces those parts of himself too.

  2. I just had this conversation with my son. He said everyone is like a freak and wants to know why other kids think they aren’t. It was a sad realization that not everyone is nice.

  3. Both my kids are “different” from their peers – and I’m not going to lie: it isn’t easy. In fact, I’ve lost many long nights of sleep worrying.

    And worrying.

    Of course, the light of day reminds me that my children are unique and precious and HAPPY to be who they are. I gave them that. This home is a safe place for them. For us. Inside these walls, everyone is invited to be who he or she is.

    NO pretending.

    And at the end of the day, I think that’s the best gift.
    Even though it’s a hard one to receive.

  4. I’ve got one too :) He’s a skateboarding herpetologist and is so secure in who he is and doesn’t care for the most part what people think. He’s 14 now so I’m not sure how his “freak” is going to go over in high school but I sure hope he doesn’t lose it. Jacob is adorable :)

  5. Oh, man! This is so good. Someday he won’t feel the need to describe himself as others do, and he will be so relieved. You’re such a good mom for guiding him into himself with such a loving, gentle hand.

    1. Thank you for coming over to read and for your words. I like to believe that allowing Jacob a place to grow and find himself is me being a good mom. Honestly my greatest joy is knowing that Jacob knows himself so intimately already.

  6. Words can sting so hard, can’t they?

    Whether it’s freak, weird, odd, whatever it is – it can hurt. But your normalizing it all is just the way that he needs. Your kiddos will forever know that they have you – they’re like you – and it’s pretty awesome. Love this.

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