I have a stunningly fantastic child. Actually, I have two of them, but this post is just about one of them. Oh stop it, nobody’s gonna be damaged by this. They’re not allowed to read my blog and not just because I have a potty mouth.
Stunningly Fantastic Child the First has a few flaws that as a proud mother I overlook on a daily basis, not the least of which is her inability to protect herself from junior high school bullying by being as weird as possible. For example, every year she opts to dress as a literary character for Halloween, and as an English teacher I should be pressing a hand to my heart while beaming. But she picks characters no one has EVER heard of then gets upset when no one knows what her costume is supposed to be.
Last year, we worked it out so she could be Hermione Granger, and she actually looked shockingly like the character. No one got it wrong except a drunk man who gave out rolls of Scotch tape he’d stolen from work, so he doesn’t count. However, when she dragged the costume out of the storage closet to wear it to the mall when the next movie came out, I had to put my foot down. She was upset with me, and I still don’t think she understood why I would not let her do that to herself. How do you lovingly tell an innocent child that she has a future of girl-on-girl hate crimes and cutting ahead of her if her fifth grade friends see her in the food court dressed as a girl wizard?
So this morning, when I reminded her that she needed to straighten up her bedroom before her sleepover tonight, she said words to me that I will treasure until my dying day: “Can I put my wizard chess set in your office? I don’t want Amy to see it.” A great weight had been lifted from my weary shoulders…my child was probably going to live through high school.
I do have to say to the kind and intelligent readers of this blog who would like to suggest that I should foster her sense of independence and relish in her quirkiness, “Have you been to a cluster-fuck that is a public high school lately?”
Forget the 80s movies where the jocks and cheerleaders walk past the nerds’ table and fling a French fry or two, those days are long gone. Now it’s cyberbullying and Facebook posts that go out to thousands of “friends” instantaneously. It’s sexting, where a picture gets snapped in the girls’ locker room and it’s sent out to hundreds of cell phones amongst the student body before the victim even has her shirt buttoned. Stuffing the science club president in his own locker? Amateur hour. Try any screenshot from the popular video game, Bully: Scholarship Edition.
No, with the teensiest sense of shame that I’ve been able to instill in my child, I’ve just increased her chances of living to become an adult. There will be plenty of time to play Harry Potter dress-up as she’s trying to prevent her own child from wearing his Power Rangers costume in public.