Conversations With My Son: “I Want To Be Me”

This afternoon, my husband took the kids to the park to play. After they got home, Little Man came in and said, “Mommy, Daddy called the kids at the park assholes!”

(At this point I completely give up on the cursing.)

I shot my husband a look–you know, the one that says How dare you while completely ignoring the fact that 90% of any of the so-called bad words LM has used likely came from hearing them from me first.

“Why?”

“Those kids were mean and wouldn’t play with me at all. Every time I would walk up to them and try to do what they were doing, they’d tell each other to ‘let’s go’ and run off so I couldn’t play.”

That burned me up. I talked to my husband about it after LM went to play in his room and he was upset about it too, of course, and had told LM not to worry about “what those asshole kids think anyway” when leaving the park.

Kinda hard to say anything about the “asshole” part.

I get so freaking tired of it, though. Little Man is different, yes. I wish I could find words to describe what a super amazing person he is, but whatever I pick will fall short. I’ve talked about what a great kid he is on here before, and maybe I sound like the typical proud parent, but there truly is something special about him–he’s kind to other kids. He’ll never leave another kid out. He never laughs at anyone. If he sees someone get hurt or struggling with something, he’ll help, not snicker as many do.

It’s kind of sad that those attributes I described belong to those of a decent human being, yet those things put him above the crowd.

I don’t know why other kids have to be so mean to him at times (and this is the least of any of the run-ins, really). He’s funny, he’s charming in his own way, he’s compassionate. Sometimes he struggles a bit socially–as far as not picking up when on when no one else wants to hear one science fact after the other, or he may stand a bit too close and not get that he’s invading someone’s comfort zone, but certainly none of that came to play today, or so I was told.

There is just something about him is different and these kids pick up on that, and then you get the whole wolf pack mentality.

Would it be easier on him if we made him wear his hair like the other kids, instead of letting him choose to keep his longer? Or if we encouraged more of that rough and tough stuff from him, instead of teaching him to use his words to talk things out, be gentle? What could we do to make things easier for him without him having to sacrifice any of who he is?

And for the most part, the other parents don’t give a shit. They call it “boys being boys” or just ignore it altogether.

It definitely hurts LM’s feelings, but he doesn’t let it get to him too much yet. But what happens later? He has such a sunny disposition–is that going to change one day when whatever it is that makes him so resilient to bullying now (particularly when it gets worse as he gets older) possibly goes away and cause him to get depressed or something? (We all know it’s in his genetics.)

I talked to LM tonight before he went to bed about the situation. During the conversation, he told me, “Mommy, I know that I’m different from the other kids.”

Please don’t say you want to be like them, I pleaded in my head. 

“But I like being different. I want to be me, not like them. Maybe they’ll be friends with me one day. As you know, a good scientist never gives up.”

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54 thoughts on “Conversations With My Son: “I Want To Be Me”

    • Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

      Your son sounds like such a special boy. All those qualities you describe that make him different now will make him unique & successful in the future. He has an amazing attitude & outlook. Visiting form #wineandboobs

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Zoe says:

    This really made me tear up because when I was a little girl, around LM’s age, I knew a boy just like him. And he was also shunned by the other kids. I’ve always hung out with the outcasts and the rejects for I always had a very keen perception of amazing souls and this kid was to me like the rays of sunshine I loved so much.

    And he would always put such a brave face with his mom and dad, but he would tell me he didn’t understand why he wasn’t liked. In my own child way I told him the other kids sucked. I told him he’d grow up to make rockets that go to space and tried as much to be a friend so that he wouldn’t change his beautiful self due to assholes like that.

    As I grew older, I saw it happen. He changed because he was tired of being the outcast. High school rolled around and he abandoned his true self to fit the image of what was popular. This was also because his parents did not encourage him to retain his inner self. That’s why I’m happy that you and hubby are grateful and encouraging of him remaining who he is. It’s so important for children to find that acceptance in their parents, especially when faced with rejection of peers.

    I think that as long as you guys are supportive of him and ensure that he understands there is nothing wrong with him, that he learns early society can be shitty but he should never let shitty people influence him or change him, then he’ll be okay.

    My friend didn’t have that from anyone but me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      That really sucks. Did you guys stay friends at all after he went the popular route? I swear, it would break my heart to have to sit back and watch that change take place. I’ve made homeschooling an option for him from Day 1, but he loves being around people, enjoys the whole school thing, etc. I think he’d get a heck of a lot more out of being homeschooled, plus wouldn’t have to put up with nearly as much of that shit, but he wants to go to school (except for at 7:00 in the morning). I’m really grateful that he’s at the new school (will be through 5th grade), because it is much smaller and most of the kids who go there do so because their parents put their names in the lottery. There isn’t a bus, so you have to drive the kids there, do a minimum amount of volunteer hours, etc. so I hope that means that those kids will have parents who are into their lives, more so than the “boys will be boys” attitude type parents, anyway, and that things will be easier on him than they would in a regular public school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zoe says:

        I was home schooled from the 7th grade until HS graduation. I only took some electives at public school in HS, like drama and a third language (which I remember 15% of actually, lol.)

        I didn’t get to keep in touch with him, not because he went popular. I am a patient friend, so unless someone royally screws me over I tend to stick around through their stages. I knew that he’d probably recover when he headed into college. He did keep his good grades and had a very promising career ahead; he was interested in bio-chemistry. Really smart guy.

        I was just going through a horrible, awful living situation (domestic violence) which prompted me to pull away from all friends. Now you’ve kind of made me curious to see what he’s done. I wonder if he’s on Facebook. Would be nice to see if he went back to himself or not.

        I personally loved being home schooled. It allowed me to learn at my pace, which was faster than the pace of school. Except math. I always struggled there after things went beyond algebra. I didn’t really miss the socializing aspect of school; I was bullied in elementary. And I had all the kids of the building I lived in to play with and just be a brat. I had a really nice childhood, in that aspect. I played outside a lot. Got my hands dirty. It was nice.

        I think LM will be okay. You and hubby sound really grounded, open-minded, and exceptional. We need more parents like you. Children, unless they are born with specific problems, aren’t born hateful. That’s a learned thing. Some do grow up and go “well my parents had the wrong ideas” and become independent to the hatefulness, but other times they just continue that tradition with their kids…

        It can be a vicious cycle.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Anxious Mom says:

          I hope you were able to find out something on FB-something good. I would have given anything to be homeschooled, but that was unheard of in our little town unless you were sick and took an extended leave.

          I sure hope so. If nothing we know what to look for. Even with the aspie symptoms, he’s so smart that he may be able to adapt enough to fake it as he gets older. I hope. ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

  2. LM is amazing! He’s so sweet, intelligent and insightful! I am always in awe of his sense of humour and great big brain as I read about him. I think he is a tribute to you and Sam.
    I hate what the pack mentality of those other kids has the potential to do to him. I’m so glad he doesn’t want to be like them but I understand your concerns about the future. I wish more parents/kids were like you guys, he will do great things in this world if he is able to understand and deflect the sad presence of ignorance and fear in the greater community.
    Pats and lollies for you both!
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Thank you! ❤️ Yes if he can just do that there’s no telling what he’ll become. Sometimes I wish we didn’t know about the iq part because I can tell with his dad that there are now certain expectations in place. I keep telling sam as long as he’s happy…I a friend who also has a high iq as well, very different fella, a lot like LM. He was expected to go to grad school, get a phd, etc but after college he went out to teach ESL in a third world country, came back and translates at a public hospital. So he might not have the money or prestige, but he’s very compassionate do I don’t doubt that he’s made life easier and at least momentarily happier for the people he’s helped.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh wow. This is absolutely beautiful. I love this post. LM is my hero too and I much respect your parenting. This is not easy and it is so touching that you recognize the “pull” to want to make life easy for him but that you know that who is truly is is perfect. And you honor who is is.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. LM sounds awesome and so strong in his gentleness. Kindness is one of the most wonderful qualities a person can have and I’m sure with your support he’ll be able to hold onto this sense of who he is and those qualities that are more important than blindly following the crowd. In time, once kids get to know him a bit better or maybe just grow up a bit more, others will come to appreciate his kindness too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Thank you! It is amazing what a difference there is in kids from high school to college. A lot–not all–of that BS is dropped, a place I know LM would thrive.

      Like

  5. I think it is wonderful that your son knows he is different and feels good about it. I watched my son struggle with making friends, most times kids would see there was something different within five minutes and walk away. There has never been anything that has made me feel more helpless, frustrated and I admit angry at children in my life. It felt like my heart was being pulled out of my chest and there was nothing to do about it for him or for me. Good news is, he is older now and has grown into his intelligence and creative mind. I don’t think he has any desire to be anymore like the rest of the “pack”, although he finds it easier to blend. He has also become the one that is walking away, looking for people that share his perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      It’s so tough to blend in early on. The psych we saw for LM who did his testing said he should be able to adapt enough on his own as he gets older to pass off more as normal. Hooray for coping, but at the same time ugh that he has to adapt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest and blunt, do yourself a favor and look at it this way. Would you rather your son be like the other kids? I know I wouldn’t. He is caring, loving and nonjudgmental and he is there a lifetime before most people. He has a gift that brought him to a place that a lot of people never get to. Everyone has to adapt to something and if he is doing this well now, as long as you are always you and don’t change, you are a living example for him. I know this might sound strange, but it sort of makes it easier in a way of passing on the judgmental people early and moving straight to the people that have some kind of emotional intelligence. As long as you show him right from the start that anyone that makes you feel bad about being you is someone you don’t need to be around, he won’t have to waste his time with that sort of people. I hope I have said this in a way that it makes sense to you. He probably has more intuition than most people as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Anxious Mom says:

          No, definitely not. It’s tough to look at, knowing there are changes he could make not to be bullied, but then again we can shelter him from a lot of that and not to risk him having to lose any of who he is.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. LM is awesome!! That is great that at his young age he knows who he is and that he doesn’t want to change for anyone. Unfortunately kids can be mean and so can their parents so it makes it hard. I hope he continues to feel the same way about himself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    LM sounds like M. It served him very well as he got older through school, he was the kid everyone knew and didn’t have a problem with. It was awkward when he was younger but he grew into it and in speaking up for himself too. I would say M is a high empath, only he is able to control the drama normally involved with that trait.

    LM sounds awesome, you are doing it all right, but I get how difficult it is during these moments too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a true story. I met this boy when he was 10. He was a husky 10 year old with long hair and loved video games and skateboarding. I thought and still do think he’s terrific and cute and fun. But he wasn’t popular by kid standards. We grew apart…him into adolescence and me into my own adult life. I recently ran into his dad who was SO excited to share about his son who grew at least 8 inches, lost a lot of weight, cut off all his hair and was now a runner, into eating healthy and in high school. I was excited to meet this young man again and excited to see his transformation. He is so handsome now and from the outside looking in it would seem he is well liked and well adjusted. But oh my gawd he is an anxious mess. My heart breaks for him. He is trying so hard to fit in but he doesn’t. He is still that awkward 10 year old but now trapped in trying to be someone he is not. It is as if he is driving himself crazy as I have no other way to describe his inner conflict. In other words, changing the outside just added pressure to his already conflicted mind. Being thin and athletic and the short hair didn’t Chang anything and he still doesn’t fit in. It is so sad to sit with him for more than 10 minutes as he is miserable and his mind races. I don’t know if this made sense. But it so helped me with my own children. I worry that my oldest son is overweight and not popular but he is happy and confident and intelligent He isn’t popular but he isn’t trying to be someone he is not. So the moral of my story is that it is okay to be who you are and that there will always be someone that tries to bring you down but they are not the ones that determine self worth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Bless the poor kid’s heart 😦 This makes me wonder how much impact we have as parents when kids make those changes in their appearances (as in losing a bunch of weight, getting fit, whatever), since to a degree that is pretty much saying the kid wasn’t good enough as he was, ya know? Or maybe that’s a stretch, obviously being supportive of healthy changes is a good thing, I suppose the thing is to talk out and make sure whatever the underlying motivation is, the kid knows what’s up.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. moderndadpages says:

    I love this post! He’s my hero for wanting only to be him at such a young age! I have raised Olivia the same and she pays no attention anymore when other kids don’t want to play with her. She says that’s their problem 🙂 Excellent post! Thank you for linking with #wineandboobs

    Liked by 1 person

  10. thesingleswan says:

    Your son is amazing. He is really courageous and he is himself. I would be really proud to be a mother to a son like yours. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know how this feels, i have two boys who are very very different . They are super happy in their own skin, but sometimes one of them just doesn’t get accepted and it breaks my heart . BUT he is so happy being him and that is all that matters. Ever.
    Great post! x
    found you on #wineandboobs

    Liked by 1 person

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