We Are All Misfits in Suburbia
I was sitting in the school car line whilst listening to Rage Against the Machine on the radio and staring into the intricate taillight pattern of yet another Honda Odyssey van. The zenness of being
bored out of my mind still and in the moment makes me reflect on life – consequently, I do my best thinking and writing in the school car line. Today I was thinking about how different we are not only from our parents’ generation but also how different we are from each other. Misfits, each of us, in our own unique ways.
When I was growing up all moms seemed to look and act the same: momish. They had high-waisted mom pants and mom shirts. They drove sensible cars, wore sensible shoes, and had sensible mom hair. Some baked for all of the school parties and some worked outside the home but they all seemed to be united in their…momishness. I’m also fairly certain they didn’t listen to RATM or, less specifically, any rap metal while waiting for their kids to get out of school. To be fair, I was also looking at them through the filter of twelve year old eyes so all women over the age of 30 seemed very strange and stepford-ish to me. I’m sure they were all unique and different in their own ways. Maybe.
I looked at the long line of cars ahead of me and recognized the tail lights of a few of my own friends. Parents that I know and love and I thought about how wonderfully different we are from each other. I have friends that are incredibly pulled together. I mean, it would take me hours of prep and a dozen outfit changes to look that good and I would probably still end up with my t-shirt on inside out. It’s bananas, I tell you. I have patchouli scented friends that are very crunchy-granola, can prescribe an oil for every ailment, and could possibly be wearing the very same shoes that we all had in college. I have the freshly washed mini-van moms, the mud-spattered outdoorsy car moms, sporty moms where stray soccer balls and boy smell drift out whenever you open the car door, and yoga pant SUV moms that pull off the coffee cup accessory like a boss. There are loving parents with one child and big-hearted parents that have adopted 4, 5 or even 6 into beautifully blended families. There is straight, smooth hair, dreaded hair, crazy curly hair, pink hair and blue hair (the funky, intentional kind not the old lady blue rinse kind). Some listen to sugary pop while others listen to metal – my husband ran into my friend and kid’s Girl Scout leader at a death metal concert not too long ago. True story.
Maybe it is modern technology that allows us to know each other so well since we communicate through quick tweets, snapshots, selfies, and posts. Some blog, some express their talents through photography or music shared online, but we have these little sneak peeks and snippets into our private lives that other generations couldn’t even imagine. We are a new generation of parents and over-sharing is what we do best. I understand that not all social media posts are accurate depictions of real life but we probably still know more little details about our friends and their kids than our parents did. The time we spend together hanging out in the real world fills in the gaps.
All of these little differences make us misfits in our own way. Even though we each bring a different set of skills and life experiences to the table, we are all still sharing the same ups and downs that come with parenthood. When I was contacted about joining the talented writers at Suburban Misfit Mom I started by reading the description of what the site was about: a place for moms that don’t fit perfectly into a specific mold. Um, hello! (raises arm and flails it wildly) In the new, Pinterest-perfect world of motherhood it promises to be a refreshing space and I am stoked to be a small part of it.