Thursday, March 15, 2007

Congratulations Ma'am, Your Child Is A . . .Nerd

This afternoon when I picked my girls up from school, Erin (14) was beside herself with excitement because she had been given a Dictionary of Mathematics to help prepare for a Math Team competition. She also had a stack of six or eight math tests that she studied for nearly three hours as we ran the afternoon errands and her sister went to Powder Puff football practice. . . Don't let the football thing fool you!

Tuesday night was senior night for the girl's soccer team. Each of the senior players was escorted down the center field line by their parents as the announcer read their high school activities and after high school plans.

"Brooke has played soccer for Ryan for 4 years and has earned her varsity letter. She has also been involved with Junior Classical League, Whiz Quiz, Literary Criticism Team, National Honor Society, and is a National Merit Finalist. She has coached Under 6 soccer and worked crew for the Denton Community Theatre.

As we reached the sideline, Brooke leaned over to me and said, "I am such a nerd!" True that. And her sister is doing a fine job of being one as well.

Both of my girls are lucky that they play soccer as well as participate in nerd activities. Most people don't realize that it is just as difficult for kids to be a nerd as it is for them to struggle with school. For many years Brooke had trouble embracing her academic gifts. She always enjoyed learning but was made fun of for it. Erin is a little more confident. She proudly says, "I am amazing!" Cocky, but true.

All children have gifts. In some they are hidden and in others they are in plain sight. It is our job as parents and educators to help each child that we come in contact with discover and nurture their unique talents and gifts. This is not always easy, but it is always necessary.

I am happy to be the proud parent of two nerds! They are fun to be with and the topics of conversation never cease to amaze me. However, they are like most teenagers in many other ways. They practice the fine art of procrastination, their mouths work faster than their brains sometimes, and they are convinced that dirty laundry is a design feature. None the less, I love them and am proud of them.


10. They would rather go to Barnes & Noble than Hollister
9. They can curse in seven or more languages
8. They really want to know about the multiplicative inverse
7. They often speak in dactylic hexameter
6. They recognize the scientific inaccuracies in CSI
5. They honestly believe that he who dies with the most dictionaries wins. And, the Dictionary of Mathematics trumps all others.
4. They own (and know how to use all the buttons on) a TI-89 and are damn proud of it.
3. The statement, "Personifying your food is unhealthy," rolls easily of their tongue.
2. They find transmissable spongiform encephalopathy a cause for excitement
1. They consider a good mind fuck with a parent as the ultimate in family bonding.

If your child manifests any of these symptoms, seek professional help immediately.

On second thought, to hell with the professionals. Hang on for dear life and enjoy the ride!