Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Like Norm at Cheers

I've often thought this over the past few years, but I'm feeling it more acutely since school started: Thumper is infinitely more confident and social than I was as a child. I did, and still sometimes do, my best to disappear, to fade away into invisibility, into obscurity. I wanted not to be noticed.

Thumper, however, walks into most rooms like he owns the joint. This morning a teacher, who was not his teacher, gave him an enthusiastic high-five and said, "Hi, [Thumper]! Did you have a good night?" A moment later, a little girl ran up to him and said, "Hi, [Thumper]!" He nonchalantly explained to her dad that she was in his class, and she excitedly told her dad that "this is [Thumper]! He's the funny one!"

I'm not sure where my own social awkwardness came from. Maybe from being the chubby, unathletic little brother of the tough, cool, athletic big brother, though certainly that wasn't his fault and he probably would argue the point, but such are the perceptions of children. I'm doing much better at not hiding these days, but it's still my default reaction. It fills my heart with joy, and hope, and pride, though, to see him make friends, both child and adult, seemingly effortlessly. The eternal hope of parents that their children will achieve more than they did seems almost inevitable with this kid.

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