How I knew I was born to FREAK by Kimberly Stromgren
As a kid I would search for special wish granting rocks, or the secret homes of fairies and gnomes. I swear I could hear voices in the trees, or the whispers of ghosts in old buildings. I dreamt of a time when I would live in a house with secret passageways, or treasure maps hidden under floor boards. Life held so many mysteries.
I was told not to be so sensitive, so silly, so emotionally attached. I would get swept up in a place, or a story, a movie, a book, and it was difficult to pull myself back to reality. I felt more at home in the world of imagination.
As I grew up, I began to see myself as too flighty, ungrounded, not serious enough, and (I’ll say it) a bit freaky. People wrote me off as naive, simple, too innocent. They would look at me, and with condescending smiles say, “Oh, that’s our Kimmie.” It was embarrassing, and sad. I wanted some company. I wanted someone else to see the world the way I saw it; with romance, intrigue, and scenes right out of the movies. Why not? People created the stories on the big screen, those images came out of their own imaginations, so if they could be imagined, why couldn’t they happen? For as long as I can remember I have believed in magic. I have looked for the moments in life when everything lines up; when mysteries flow in.
I have a bit of my Dad in me. He loved to make a production out of every day things. My sister and I were once treated to a cloth covered table set with pretty plates and delicious salads. Ice water with wedges of lemon was at the ready. I don’t think there was any occasion to celebrate—just an evening at home made special by Dad.
When I became a Mom, I saw life through my children’s eyes, and this life was again laced with wonder, magic, and joy. Yet even children grow up. Even children discover there is no such thing as Santa Claus, and these same children (if they are lucky enough to have a Mom who does) will be entertained and adored by her sense of wonder.
Case in point:
Last year when my daughter’s high school volleyball team was preparing for their first playoff game, I had an idea. In my mind I saw bleachers filled with cheering fans. I saw the school colors fly, flags waving, pom poms shaking. I saw my daughter’s team taking it all in. I saw their upturned faces and their beaming smiles. I knew they were experiencing something truly special and memorable; an event they would always have in their history. I wanted to give them that moment.
I decided that the shaking pom poms were the crucial element. I must make those pom poms!
I spent five days brainstorming design ideas, gathering materials, cutting dowels, slicing up plastic table coverings, stapling, trimming, clipping, and separating the fringe of each pom. In the end I had twenty memory makers for the big game.
Because of work, I arrived just a few minutes after the first whistle blew. The crowd was already into the game. I carried the pom poms in a paper bag and picked my way through the bleachers to a good seat. Several parents waved to me and I wasted no time. I started handing out the poms to smiling parents, siblings, and friends. Throughout the game we shook them and cheered. Across the court I could see the beaming face of my daughter as she shook her head at me. I’m sure she was thinking there goes my Mom again.
When the night was over, we had won the game and were advancing toward state! It was a magical night. Like something right out of a movie.
I know now, that I have a very special role to play. I may be the creative, crazy one with the wacky ideas, and the one who believes in fairy tales, but I’m also the one who adds color and fringe to the everyday. It is who I am. I was born to be this freak! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been a full time stay-at-home Mom for nearly 17 years. My kids are everything to me. I have been a writer since I first put pen to paper in a scrappy notebook when I was 10.
My current writing project is to send an old fashioned letter every day. In order to find true connection in the digital age, I’m going old school, and the rewards are already in my mailbox. Drop me your address and I’ll send you a letter.
I work at a gift shop and clothing boutique where I design and create wearable art.