Room to grow: the fine line between eccentric and excellent

EVAN PRETZER | Evergreen columnist

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It’s that time again: Mom’s Weekend.

Soon, Cougar women from all over will descend to Pullman. Luxury cars will stretch as far as the eye can see and new tales of debauchery will be made and then whispered about at Valhalla for years to come.

In the spirit of this time of year, I must admit I struggled about what I should write.

My mom is pretty normal. She’s never had a fatal disease and beaten it. She did not come from a broken home and no, she does not have a wild past.

What makes my mom unique is that she, along with my dad, is a weird parent.

When I say weird, I don’t mean mind cripplingly insane. I’m trying to tell you the woman who was partly responsible for raising me was wonderfully low key.

On religion, my mother once told me none of it really mattered in the end.

“Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, it’s all the same thing when you really think about it Ev. If you want to follow one, that’s great. If not, just try to live your life in a decent manner and don’t act like a total prick to anyone.”

I was five when she told me that.

Obviously, that’s a lot for any kid to hear. But I took her words to heart and it’s worked out pretty well for me so far. Sure, there are some nights where I eat pizza out of the garbage and smoke Kool-Aid powder. But I can also sit in a room with a priest, a rabbi and an imam and get along with them all. That sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s astonishing.

Aside from great words of wisdom, my mom and dad were also very lax in regards to the media I consumed as a child.

Never once was I told any film, book, song or game was off limits to me.

I could view what I pleased so long as it did not change me as a person.

This is another area of my life where things worked out wonderfully. I had a friend whose mother was deeply religious and did not let him consume a lot of media.

Many people will read this and call into question whether I was the product of bad parenting. Some people will say my family is eccentric; they’d be mistaken.

According to Global Post, clinical psychologist Laura Markham asserts strict parenting can create behavior problems. If all control and decisions come from the top, a child will never self-improve.

So Mom, I want to thank you and Dad for the unconventional childhood I had.

I was not always a perfect child. Lord knows that incident at Swiss Chalet was not me at my best, but you have both always been there for me. I tip my cap to you.

– Evan Pretzer is a junior communication major from from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.