Usually, I blog about photography. Since I'm a photographer, that would make sense. This post is different. I wanted to write about something personal:
That's them in the photo. Current photos really don't tell the story like that flashback photo from a Sci-Fi convention does. I wanted to give you a visual, and that photo pretty much sets the stage for this post.
Here's a snippet from a tonight's conversation with our youngest son:
Me: So who all is coming over tomorrow night?
Son: The usual suspects. Oh, and one more. He's the weirdest kid in school.
Me: Really? Because, I've met you all. I don't think it can get any weirder.
And, really, they are strange kids. They are nerds. And I mean full-on, 100% committed to the nerd cause. We should have seen this coming. That photo of them in costume? It could have been taken on a random Wednesday. They pretty much sported some kind of getup every day. They didn't just play Link on the Nintendo. They lived it.
I always envisioned our children being popular kids. Sports, proms, going out every weekend, homecoming court. I think that's what most parents have in their heads when they hope for their children's happiness. But, I have learned that some paths just don't take the cool road. And I have learned that the destination of happiness can be reached from a road less traveled. And, as a bonus, I have found that popularity really isn't a formula derived by the conventional methods.
So, yeah, they are nerds. And they are happy. They're well-adjusted. And, in all seriousness and without ANY bias whatsoever, I can say they are pretty cute. They have tons of friends, they laugh all the time, and just generally enjoy being who they are. I think back to my high school days, and I am a little envious of that. They have never felt the need to please people or submit to peer pressure to conform. They like what they like. And what they like is Dungeons and Dragons. I can't really identify, but I can appreciate that they found their tribe. And oddly enough, kids seem to really like them for who they are.
Our basement is always full of teenagers. The motley crew that descends upon the Marlow house on weekends is a sight. They roll in with disheveled hair, sporting Legend of Zelda shirts. They watch movies that their peers have never heard of, shoot pool, and occasionally come upstairs to make a cup of green tea. That's how they roll.
But they are the best kids. They're polite. They're kind. They have confidence that shoud be missing in those awkward teenage years. They blew right past the self-conscious phase, and went straight into liking themselves. They treat others with respect, and accept whoever wants to join their party. In a world seemingly filled with bullies and meanness and a constant battle for IG popularity, it's pretty refreshing.
And how liberating would it be if we could all be like that?
So when we hear phrases emanating from the basement that sound like a foreign language (like maybe Klingon), we roll our eyes and turn on a Bond movie to filter out the geekery. The best part is that the nerd-speak is usually intertwined with laughter, and our sound system doesn't get loud enough to drown it out entirely.
So wave the nerd flag, kiddos. I'm cool with it. There is plenty of adulting ahead, and at some point you'll have to hide a little bit of that weirdness under a bushel. Like when you get jobs. And, you WILL get jobs and move out. Believe it. Adam and I are not surrendering the house.
And if anyone has any ideas for a D&D campaign, let me know. I try to help, but that is not in my wheelhouse. And one of these days, I'll blog about the Sci-Fi convention where Batgirl, Yvonne Craig, gave our kids the greatest day of their lives.