I think I failed. Somehow, my kids are well balanced, socially adept children. I was a wallflower nerd whose social life involved extracurricular clubs, mostly of the academic kind. All of my kids are smart, but somehow, they’ve skirted or outright avoided the social misfit status I held. Of course, for Miss Drama, it’s early yet to make that call. If she doesn’t learn that showers should be more frequent than once a week, she’ll belong to the circle of kids even I steered clear of– the smelly ones.
Miss Diva informed me she no longer liked Pokemon or anything else that might mistakenly label her as a geek. I think I died a little bit inside. Of course, I admonished her on how she shouldn’t change who she is just to fit in, but I think my words fell on deaf ears. She’s the pretty AND smart one that most of the boys secretly crush on. She knows she’s got the whole shebang, and she hasn’t even got boobs yet. There are days I think she would be the girl I’d want to be friends with, but who would likely never even notice I existed, or worse, laugh when one of her crueler friends made fun of me. Miss Diva isn’t cruel. She tries to be nice, but I’ve noticed she wants to fit in very much. I have a diminishing window of opportunity to teach her the value of standing out rather than blending in.
Mr. Smarty-pants eschews geekdom and nerdom as well….at least in public, usually. Ask him about history and he might forget his emo, nearly teen, faux angst and prattle on excitedly about some ancient historical battle. Still, his idea of a “rough day” and mine when I was his age are totally different. For me, every day was rough. I got to pick between getting spit on by the disgusting little boy or fielding overly personal questions from another in science class. In another class, boys would taunt me or poke fun when a story in English class made me cry. Older girls called me gay. I didn’t even know what it meant. Jealous kids called me teacher’s pet because they envied the 100 average I had in history class.
When I picked Mr. Smarty-pants up on Friday he said he’d had a rough day. “How so?” I asked.
“Ten girls wrote me notes.” He flashed one at me. Will you be my boyfriend?
Wow. Poor him. In all of middle school, high school, and college combined I didn’t achieve that number. I failed to commiserate properly. I think I snorted. He knows he doesn’t need a girlfriend and that I would go out of my way to embarrass him if he attempted to have one. I informed him I’d go on their “date” with them. He can date when he has a job to pay for it and his own transportation.
Miss Drama got up cranky, barely finished putting her shoes on before we arrived at school today, and had a minor melt-down as she proclaimed she hated school. Now that I can relate to.