Most parents are normal. They are normal, with
normal jobs, normal clothes, normal cars, you get the idea. Normal
parents are cool. They’re... well...normal.
But my parents are the complete opposite of normal. It’s like somebody
took the word normal and twisted it and ruined it and made my parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents to death. But they’re just so
Instead of having a normal job, my parents own a big store in town
called The Time Traveler. This store is basically an antique shop, but
not quite. It doesn’t sell things a normal antique store would. It sells
objects you would never imagine existed. Like a small talking
rubber-ducky named Steve that can do backflips in your pool. Apparently,
he was made in 1983 or something. Or an umbrella that changes colors
when it rains. Many other things like that exist in Mom and Dad’s store.
Still don’t think my parents are that weird? Well, here’s some more
evidence for you.
Mom and Dad dress like they’re in the 1800s. Literally. My dad wears
trench coats, like Sherlock Holmes. And by what my Mom wears, you’d
think she was Nancy Drew. It’s absurd.
Our car isn’t normal, either. It’s apparently 1980 antique car or
whatever named Betsy. Betsy is a bright yellow. Our pet isn’t even
normal. It’s a hamster named Dr. Spell Check. Dad claims Dr. Spell Check
is fluent in Spanish and Japanese.
Okay. Enough about my strange parents, and more about my even stranger
story. It started when I was helping Mom at the store.
Mom was beside the counter, where people pay for the weird things they
buy here at this crazy store. I, as usual, was bored to death. In fact,
I thought I was going insane. I wanted to go on my iPod so badly, but
Mom and Dad have this strict “no technology” rule in the store, so I
couldn’t do that. I was waiting for Mom to close the store, so we could
go home and have dinner.
But I wasn’t waiting very patiently.
"Mom" I groaned. "I. Am. So. Bored"
"Don’t worry, Alice" Mom smiled, and pushed her huge, purple-rimmed
glasses up her nose. Those glasses are antiques, too. They’re from
19-something. "Only half an hour until close"
"But Mo-m" I groaned louder. "Nobody’s coming. Can’t we just close
"Nope" Mom shook her head firmly. "But hey. If you’re so bored, why
don’t you go into the storage room?"
Mom said it like it was the best idea ever. But the storage room was
just a bunch of taped cardboard boxes full of more crazy antiques. But
anything was better than sitting in the corner of the front of the
store, staring at the wall. So, I got up, and walked into the storage
Bored out of my mind, I looked at the closed cardboard boxes, hoping
that cardboard could somehow entertain me.
But in the very back of the room, a small cardboard box was open. I
walked over and gently put my hand into the box, knowing how delicate
antiques usually are.
It was completely bare, expect for a piece of old parchment. I picked it
up and read it.
It was a drawing. A drawing of a family. A little girl with blonde
pigtails holding hands with two little red-haired boys, a woman, and a
man. Whoever drew this must have put a lot of effort into it, because
you could see lots of detail. By the way it was drawn, though, it looked
like a ten-year-old drew it. A very talented ten-year-old. Above the
drawing of the family were two words drawn in red marker, with bubbly
hearts surrounding the words. The words were:
Huh. I wonder who drew it.
Suddenly, the storage door burst open. I was so startled that I jumped
back, bumping into a cardboard box.
Mom laughed. "Calm down, silly. It’s only me. I guess we’ll close down
early after all. Nobody’s coming"
I nodded. I showed Mom the drawing. I was really curious about it. "Hey,
Mom, who drew this?"
Mom gently took it from me and read the drawing. A grin spread across
her face. She flipped it over, revealing a name drawn in blue crayon.
"Who’s she?" I asked, eager.
"Oh, probably old Mrs. Corbrough from across the street. She donated a
lot of things to the store last week. This was probably one of them" Mom
"Cool" I said.
"Hey" Mom said, her blue eyes lighting up like a lamppost in the dark.
"Why don’t you give this to Mrs. Corbrough when we get home? I think she
might like it."
I agreed, and we went on our way home. When we reached there, I jumped
out of our antique car, and instead of heading to our antique home—yes,
our home is antique, too—I walked across the street to Mrs. Corbrough’s
cozy little home.
I knocked on the door, and it swung open, revealing an old woman with a
sunny smile and sharp, but gentle, green eyes.
"Hello" she said. "What can I help you with, Alice?"
"You drew this, right, Mrs. Corbrough?" I asked, giving her the drawing.
Once Mrs. Corbrough saw this picture, her face warmed up like a
campfire. She stared at the drawing like she was in the middle of a very
"Oh, I drew this years and years ago. To celebrate my family." She was
so happy tears were trickling down her kind old face. "Family Forever.
When I was a kid, I learned to love my family, no matter how weird,
annoying or strange they are."
"Yeah. You’re right," I said, and smiled, too. I thought of my weird
family. And how ungrateful I was to them.
I headed back home, and as soon as I did, I gave my parents huge hugs.
And realised something.
I love my weird and strange family, no matter what.