Archive for February 2013

We’re the Grohs, and we do things differently.

We’re all different. No doubt about that. Sometimes we want people to sit up and notice our differences, how special we are, and other times we want to blend in with everyone else and just be “normal.”

My husband is about 6’ 4”. That’s different, and sometimes he stands out in a crowd.

I’m {a little bit} older than him. That’s different and sometimes I catch myself wondering if people notice. If they do, at this point in my life, I don’t think I care THAT much, but on occasion, it bothers me.

I have strawberry-blond hair. That has always been different, and as a child I couldn’t stand being called a redhead. It wasn’t until I was nearing 30 that I began to love and appreciate the color of my hair. I think it was because my hairdresser repeatedly told me that I’d be rich if I could bottle my color and sell it to everyone who paid big money to turn their hair the color that mine was naturally. Now that I finally embrace my strawberry-blondness, it’s becoming, ah-hem, “highlighted” shall we say, with a lot of white hair and I’m clinging to my natural color more than ever before, not ready to let go of it. How come I didn’t learn to love it sooner?

Both of our kids are adopted. My son was born in Russia and my daughter was born in China. That’s different. I volunteer in their first grade classroom and children have approached me to ask if my kids are adopted. I say yes, and when they inquire further I suggest they ask my kids about it so they can divulge whatever details they feel comfortable sharing. Sometimes these questions embarrass my son.  My husband and I LOVE the way that we built our family, but it’s different. And sometimes that hurts, especially when we already see our kids being pointed out by their peers as being different in their most vulnerable of areas—their identity, the very core of who they are and where they come from.

But different can be good.  We have a saying that we are using more and more with our kids. It was a take-away from my cousin Dennis’ memorial service. If his kids wanted to do something that others were doing, but would not represent God well, Dennis would say, “we’re the Pratts, and we do things differently” and that was the final answer. I loved that, as did Ken, and we began implementing it with our kids almost immediately–both as a way to honor the memory of my cousin who left this world much sooner than we ever thought he would, and as a family statement that the kids can cling to and repeat to their friends as an explanation of why they’re not going along with the crowd. We would love for it to be a tool that our kids can use as a way out when needed, and we pray that they can feel confident in knowing that it’s ok to be different, because sometimes that is what we are called to be. Plain and simple.

Sometimes being different isn’t an option. It just is. And sometimes being different is a choice that we need to make. Lord, grant us the courage to be different.