nerd (noun \ˈnərd\): an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits
(Yes, I looked it up. It’s what I do.)
The Caboose came home from school a few days ago in a bad mood. He went up to his room to sulk for a little while, then appeared in the kitchen a few moments later, ready to talk about it.
Him: I’m glad I’m not going back to that school next year.
Me: (Concerned look.) Why?
Him: Because they have too many bullies.
Me: (Seething.) What happened?
Him: The popular kids were calling me and my friends names.
Me: (Seething more.) What did they call you?
Me: (Sympathetic look.) Aww.
You must understand, “aww” was the word that came out of my mouth, but my brain was saying “yessss!” For I know the path of a nerd. And it turned out just fine for me.
You see, I’m a nerd. To be specific, I’m an English Nerd. My husband is also a nerd. He’s a Computer Nerd. Turns out that when two nerds marry and have kids, guess what their offspring turn out to be. You got it…more nerds.
Now I use the term with great affection. Many of my closest friends are nerds. (Go figure.) But coming to terms with being a nerd is a long process. And my Little Guy just isn’t there yet. It’s my job to get him there.
When my kids read this (…who am I kidding, they don’t read my blog…) they’re not going to be happy. Having one’s mom tell the world you’re a nerd can’t be good for adolescent self-esteem, but deep down I think the two older kids already know.
As for The Caboose, I’ll tell him over and over that he shouldn’t listen to what other people say. I’ll reinforce the philosophy that “it’s what’s inside that matters.” I’ll remind him that he has many friends who like him just the way he is. But he’ll still want to be more like the popular kids. And he’ll want to be one of them. It’s part of growing up.
This week is my College Boy’s Spring Break. (Some of my friends have been expressing woe over their kids going to the beach for Spring Break. I can’t even imagine that level of worry.) When he said he planned to stay home, I was quite relieved. Then a magical thing happened: his girlfriend came to our house, and tucked under her arm was a physics book. I almost cried. They spent the afternoon at the dining room table with laptops and physics books. He has (at least on a sub-conscious level) realized he’s a nerd, embraced it, and is seeking out others like him. The circle of life is complete for that one.
The wild-card among my children appears to be Slick, the middle child. He has cool hair, a quick wit, and a free spirit. He plays two team sports. This apple may roll a little farther from the tree than the others. (He’ll probably be a Democrat.) But he did set his alarm for 3:30 A.M. a few days ago to wake up and study for a Latin test, so he’s clearly showing nerdy tendencies.
Raising a house full of nerds has made me happier and prouder than I ever could have imagined. I’ve realized that the world has enough Alpha Males. It needs more Nerds. It needs more people who value intelligence over attention and substance over style. I’m happily doing my part for the greater good!
So, to all the popular girls who called me names in high school, thank you. (I’m sure some of you turned out nicely, too.)
What a great post! I was grinning the whole time I was reading it.
My kids are too young for me to assess their nerd potential, but we have high hopes.
Remember, they drink the kool-aid you serve them. So put a little sugar in the Nerd brew, and serve it up!!
ROTFLMAO… my middle child nerd is in self-contained gifted and she informed me last week that the regular kids call her class the “nerd herd.” All I could think was how lucky she as at the age of 12 to have a herd of her own kind!
Lucky girl, indeed! Whether or not she knows it now! My eldest is a mechanical engineering student at LSU, and he’s rocketing through it! So starting gifted at age 4 served him quite well.
Thanks for stopping by, Diana! Hope to see you around again soon!
Congratulations on being a Mom to nerds! This post made me laugh:) My daughter, who is a freshman in college, told me that she was upset because she couldn’t find any nerds to hang out with. That was the beginning of the year. She has found some nerds now, and she is happy!
A co-worked calls me a nerd all the time. I take it as a compliment:)
Thanks. I’m flattered, too, when I’m called a nerd. My older kids are learning to embrace it, but the Little Dude isn’t there yet. He still wants to be a Rock Star.
I was probably considered a nerd in school. But I’m not sure I would have classified myself as one. Sure, I was brainy but I wasn’t all consuming, must study, about school. I was rather lazy about it and still got A’s 🙂
I was a closet nerd maybe 🙂
Same here. I just was what I was. It wasn’t until later I realized I was nerdy. But it sure paid off!
Fellow nerd here. I am so rooting for you. And your kids.
What a way to start a blog – awesome!
Thanks!! Looking things up is what nerds do!
I’m an English nerd and I have at least 2 nerdy offspring. The older one has embraced his nerdiness and I’m so proud. The remaining 3 have me worried. My daughter, when I suggested she read a book, actually said, “I read enough at school.” *GASP* I was speechless and she ran off to do her nails and sing Selena Gomez songs. What do I do with that?
Ah. I can’t relate. I only have sons. My middle dude is taking the ACT this morning. He’ll know in a few weeks the value of nerdiness. 🙂
From one English nerd to another: Congratulations.
(I’ve got a couple here at my house, too…)
Loved the post and I LOVE “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
Thanks for stopping by! We (nerds) seem to find one another, don’t we, even on the Internet!
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I LOVE NERDS!
Thanks for visiting! Hope you come back soon!
Don’t worry about him becoming a democrat. There is still time to work on that.
He was is 4th grade when he announced to me one day in the car that he thought he was a Democrat. I almost drove into the W. Esplanade canal!
I’m a nerd and always have been. I don’t think you know how much I love reading this blog of yours!! Thanks!
My pleasure! Keep clicking!