Sunday, April 20, 2008

All The People

I will start with the smallest ones first.

Around 1:30 this afternoon (1:35 to be more precise, though it turned to 1:36 while I was leaving the message) I called Jennifer to say, "I'm going to the bridgehead to write. I'll be leaving around 2:30, so if you're up for it, meet me there!"

Around 2:30 (at 2:24 to be precise, though it turned to 2:26 while we were making plans) Greg called to say, "We're going to the park, and the girls asked if you wanted to come." I'm sick, so I said "I'll wash my hands and make sure I don't really touch them." Which is impossible around 2 year olds as adorable as these two year olds.

As it turns out, the best way to take a picture of a two year old is to have the following conversation:
"Hey Rubes, do you mind if I take your picture?"
"Okay, I'm going to slow the swing down, and get my camera and be right back."
"Okey doke. Here we go. Who's super cutie?"
Well, the answer to that is pretty obvious, isn't it.

For most of our park time, Fiona and I hung out by the swings. By which I mean I listened to Fiona's incredibly entertaining running commentary "higher higher good swinging papa ruby hi ruby hi papa mama slow down fix hat higher megan nice swinging time frances birdies wire higher good swinging ronica burfday paul eamon john john john fun burfday" while I pushed her till my arm ached. She was killing me, she was so adorable.

I loooooove how many words they have.

One of the things I bought at the wicked cool zine store in Portland was a book involving a small girl and a hootenanny. So on the way through the park after playing, Greg tipped up the stroller and said "Hey girls!" To which they replied "Hootenanny!"

Love it.

Further along, on the way to Bridgehead, we walked by the Oak, where a traditional Irish band was playing. We looked sideways at each other and kind of rolled our eyes. Then I got excited. "But but but! It's a HOOTENANNY!" Greg got excited too. He tipped back the stroller "Hey girls! What is it?" Perhaps is was a bit of post-park sleepiness or pre-cookie anticipation or a glaze of wonder in the face of a real live hootenanny, because they said a measured "Hootenanny," and looked away.

Off we trotted then, to Bridgehead, where there was not room for Greg and the girls, but was for me and my laptop. I snuggled myself in with a coffee, and tried not to be distracted by a woman who kept, in a annoyingly nasal and terribly loud voice, telling her son, who was playing some video game that he kept calling stupid, to be quiet.

Though her voice did allow me to overhear parts of an infuriating conversation. The woman, long-haired hippie aesthetic, her son astride her knee, nestling his back into her chest, was chatting with her also long-haired hippie friend, who had an adorably quiet young girl in his lap. Long-haired Woman said "Oh, and we were going to do his toes, purple I think - wasn't it, sweetie?"

Cool, I thought. Long-haired man also nodded his approval. The son mumbled something at his game.

"What was that, sweetie?"
He ducked his head a little lower and mumbled something else.
"Weird? You're weird? At school?" She started stroking the side of his head, obviously distressed.

And you know, they had me up to this point. -Fuck people! I thought. -Ah, kid, it'll get better, I thought. I'm a sucker for that. Going to school with a bunch of people who think you're weird is shitty. Knowing that they're right is even shittier.

She said "You're not weird! Of course you're not weird!"

And she lost me. I mean, I don't know what school that kid goes to, but I do know Ottawa, and chances are he doesn't go to a school where a significant proportion of the boys are contented pink-shirt-wearing vegan jews with purple-painted toenails. Just a guess.

So telling him that he doesn't know what he's experiencing on top of being the weird kid? Not exactly going to help give him the self-confidence he going to need to be a triumphant weird kid.

But easy for me, eh? We'll see what my reaction is if either Fiona or Ruby says that to me in 4 years.


Psychic Librarian said...

Great post! I am with you on that Megan... how can kids believe in themselves if we deny them what they feel and/or think:

My Nephew: My teacher is mean!
His Mom: No, no. Your teacher isn't mean.

Later that night My Nephew calls Auntie(that's me).

Auntie: So, you feel that your teacher is mean?

My Nephew: Yes.

Auntie: Tell me about it.

My Nephew proceeds to talk about all incidents were he feels that the teacher was unfair or unkind to others. He has made some very interesting observations - he is only 7. He talks for over 20 minutes. That is how he feels, and he just needed to express those feelings...

Psychic Librarian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
suge said...

the real trial would be if ruby or fi should ever tell you that she thinks a purple-toed classmate is weird. not that I think they ever would! but rebellion can take many forms.

Aggie said...

It would have been nice if that weird mama could have just said, "Yes, you are weird, and that's ok. Everyone's weird in her own special way."

M said...

hm. i am 41 years old and my neighbor called me weird. it hurt my feelings and sent me back to school days. it sure does hurt to be different but in the end we are all different whether we show it or not.

Manny Blue said...

We are all weird to someone, I figure, and beautiful to many, I hope.

Pearl said...

I think it was tone.

you're weird as in bad connotation of that tone of voice, nope. wonderful diverse weird just like everyone is, yep.

and cute kidlets.