Sunday, June 8, 2014
I Think Nerds Are Cool!
Yes, I really do think nerds are some of the coolest (and smartest) people I know. There is nothing wrong with being a nerd. And let me clarify that when I call my children or my friends nerds, there is no malicious intent whatsoever. Coming from me, it's a sign of affection.
My son humors me with some of his choices in clothing. Sometimes, he looks a like a nerd, sometimes he looks like a prep. Other times, he chooses to dress like a superhero. Just a few days ago, he was wearing just one sock and a pair of sandals and he was cool with it. And no, there was no rhyme or reason to it. It was just something Ben chose to do. I no longer choose to battle him or my daughter with clothing, other than to make suggestions.
So today, my son put on some clothes and the way he initially put them on made him look like a nerd. I posted a picture on Facebook to show off my little nerd. All of my friends who commented thought it was cute and funny (in a good way). It also received a lot of "likes".
A couple of hours after I posted that photo, I received a private message from an older well-meaning friend who has known me since childhood, someone who knows a little bit of the unkindness I received during my childhood. She was very concerned that I called my son a nerd and even suggested that I stop calling him that. At first, I felt shame and sadness because I did something wrong. However, I quickly regained my composure and sent her another message to explain how there was no bullying going on and that my son actually does this kind of stuff because he is a confident little boy. Plus, he enjoys making others laugh and bringing a smile to others' faces. My son is very good at letting us know if we use words that hurt him. I would never maliciously call my children names or refer to them in derogatory ways. That's not to say that I'm an awesome mother, because I am not. I'm probably the most inadequate mother around. I have so many faults as a mother to 2 very challenging children who each have their own set of special needs. I do my best to convey my love for them but I admit that I have used unkind words more times than I care to remember. However, I have not and hopefully never will call my children hurtful names. I take pictures of my children in all different situations. I want them to remember the fun times and be able to laugh at the silly pictures. Since I tend to be a more serious person, I want my children to have vivid memories of the silly times.
Just last week, my son decided to humor us all by dressing as Spiderman all day, including at a mall in St. Louis. At first, I balked because I didn't want attention drawn to us. Ben insisted on being Spiderman and I brought along a change of clothes in case Ben decided to change his mind once we arrived at the mall. My friend and her mother-in-law had no problem with Ben's clothing choice and in fact, they thought it was cute. So, I went along with it. As it turned out, Ben brought a smile to many of the shoppers' faces. I'm sure if Ben was dressed as a nerd that day, he still would have brought a smile to peoples' faces. That's just how he is. I love Ben very much. I try to remind both of my children as often as possible of my love for them. I love them as superheros, as princesses, as whiny and incorrigible children, and even as nerds. I love them unconditionally. Now I just need to find a non-prescription pair of glasses for Ben, something he's been begging for. That makes me even more convinced that my son is a nerd at heart and I'm so cool with that.