I hate children.
No, not in my usual “why do people reproduce and ruin their lives” kind of hate children. I mean, there are specific children that I hate…and clearly as I am on the verge of 33, that is just NOT healthy. Yes, one could argue that it’s really not healthy to hate anyone, but an adult hating a child is definitely the sub-basement of unhealthy.
Who are these lovely little creatures who have become the subject of my ire?
A few of A’s classmates. Duh. Mama Bear in full effect.
Look, I know my daughter is weird. She acts weird. She says weird things. She sometimes dresses weird (when left solely to her own devices). She’s into weird things for people her age.
She’s just plain weird. I get it.
She’s also incredibly emotional which works for and against her. She used to cry a lot. I am sure there is a deeper reason for that but that’s why I have her savings account split between college AND the therapy she will eventually need.
Her humor is on par with Fozzie Bear. She’s about as graceful as a robot with a dying battery. She’s not into sports and would much rather read a book or play a game online than toss any kind of ball around.
All of this adds up to her being a target for the supposedly “cool” kids. The ones who were LUCKY enough to be blessed (or drilled to death) with athletic prowess. The ones who follow all of the trends. The ones who come from money or at the very least, from parents who instill in them a false sense of superiority. The ones who are viewed as “popular” if for no other reason than the fact that they deemed themselves as such, and everyone else just sort of fell in line.
It may have been 21 years (WTF!?!) since I was a sixth grader myself, but it’s the same song and dance.
And I remember.
I remember having A’s two left feet. I remember trying so hard to be everyone’s friend. I remember not understanding why people were so mean when I had never DONE ANYTHING to them. I had my own group of friends, as A does, but instead of feeling like we belonged to our own clique, we were just a collected gang of square pegs, which made us an even easier target. By eighth grade I had started on my journey of personal discovery (a journey that should complete any day now. No really, any day. Any day at all. WHO THE FUCK AM I!?!) so it became a lot easier for me to let the popularity bullshit roll off my back.
Though I was never the stereotypical version of “popular” come high school (being a theatre major will do that to a person…particularly a person who spells theatre with an “re”), I had an incredible, artistic, diverse and loving group of friends that carried me through that 4 1/2 year (don’t ask) period of my life.
To this day I am drawn to the same type of people. The writers. The actors. The artists. The beautiful fools who seem to think they can change the world (and who are actually doing it!) I am blessed with a magical tribe of allies and associates. Of chosen family (because let’s be real, my actual family is F-U-C-K-E-D.)
I know this will be true for A too. I know this is just a phase. I know that I need to step back and let it…her life, play out. It is not my place to swoop in and fight her battles, no matter how much it hurts or feels like they are my own.
I know that this will all be behind
us her in a few years and that A will go on to live a perfectly lovely life. She’s already made a home for herself with an alternative crowd. Her compassion, empathy and interests draw an eclectic group of kids. The type of kids who are going to grow up and have the really cool BK loft parties while the “popular” kids will be stuck on the ever status-attaining, 60 hour workweek living, Rohypnol hangover having treadmill that makes way to an Uppa Baby stroller pushing, “Mommy and Me” Starbucks Meet-up attending, Pinot Grigio on a Monday swilling, consumerist, dead on the inside eternity. They will perpetuate a cycle of sameness while A and her rare breed of awkward acquaintances and clumsy cohorts will be the change this world so desperately needs.
Or I’ll wind up in jail. Either way, A is destined to be different.
What a lucky girl.