Monday, March 12, 2012

The Geek Gene

Anyone that knows me in real life (poor souls, I tell you) knows that this weekend was rough around here. Larry Potter had to deal with one of life's suckiest realities: being left out. Not that he hasn't dealt with it before, but this time, Disgruntled Husband and I had to watch. It was truly heartbreaking.

The boy that LP plays with pretty much all summer and any other outdoor-type weather had a birthday party on Saturday. A sleepover party with a bunch of other fourth grade boys. LP wasn't invited. And because this kid lives across the alley from us, the party was in full-view of us...and especially LP. He craned his neck out the kitchen window during dinner to see what they were up to. He could also see the party from his room. From his bed. There were tears and fits, a red face and a head in arms on the table.

"Why didn't he invite me?"

Ugh. Why do other people's kids have to ruin mine? From what I understand, because one of the "popular" boys was going to this party, LP was ostracized.

This weekend opened up so many old wounds for me, I had to call Urgent Care. I was in fourth grade once; I had similar experiences. In fact, in looking back amongst all my years in school, fourth grade was the absolute worst. Watching my son question his own wacky self at the kitchen table made me wish that my experiences were better, so that somehow, I would have raised him differently so he would not be left out.

But I think we all know that isn't the answer. Nor would it have made any difference. Sure, I could try and raise a popular kid, so that he'd have an easier time in school. (What makes a boy popular in fourth grade? Seems it hasn't changed much in 23 years; a bad attitude, knowledge and use of swear words, and an aptitude for athletics.) But I like the way I'm raising my kid. I like how he's turning out (for the most part), and the knocks he's taking right now, hard as it is for him, will make him a better person.

(This is from theoatmeal.com.) Thanks to Lisa for providing me with this hysterical look at high school! The rest of this comic is at http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theoatmeal.com%2Fcomics%2Fsenior_year&h=xAQFoUkl_AQHagrtd0hDWuIQ229hUS4v4J8pPTMScF_1z0A and is 100% accurate!


I wrote a column in my college newspaper about this very thing. Back in 2000, when I was almost 21, having the time of my life, and before marriage and kids were even on the brain, I penned a look back at my life and how being a geek affected me. It was the only piece my dad ever complemented me on (I still have the e-mail to prove it) despite having a subscription to my newspaper. Girls cut it out and put it on their dorm room doors. I felt like J.D. Salinger...for all of about a week.

All of my old articles are online now, mostly to humiliate those of us that thought we were Woodward and Bernstein. I found this particular column and let LP read it. I don't know if it made him feel better or not; I just know that I wish someone would have put things in perspective for me when I was a kid.

(I'll put it up on The Snarky Mom Facebook page if any of you would like to read the column. D'OH! No notes feature on Facebook fan pages. Here's the link: http://www.mamasnarky.com/2012/03/column.html . Or you can just scroll up!)

If I only I had the crystal ball to show LP how awesome his life is going to turn out, it might make things easier to endure. Until then, I ask every parent out there to please have the golden rule talk with your kids. My kid isn't the only one out there going through a shitty time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, this is heartbreaking! I'm already worried about my future kid(s) being ostracized for their inevitable geekiness. I mostly blame the parents who teach their kids that the goal is to be cool.

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