Monday, March 7, 2011

Letter to My Goddaughter

The other night, your mom posted this on her Facebook page:
An open apology to my daughter: Children can be mean and tease you, so let me brace you for it by telling you now: Yes, you are a geek. Yes, you are a nerd. You enjoy science museums. You were happy you got assigned additional homework. You want to know how things work. You love to read. You use your own tools. You asked for chemistry sets from Santa. But, for all that, you're a pretty cool geek and I love you.
Upon reading it, I felt compelled to add my two cents.  Advance apologies for rambling.

Your mom and I have known each other since we were sixteen years old.  We got on immediately as friends, for many reasons and had many common interests, but know this:  we were both geeks.  We were nerds.  We were not in the Cool Crowd.  No, instead we took advanced English and math and science classes, belonged to the drama club, and were in marching band. 

During my senior year, I remember sitting four or five seats away from the cheerleading captain during an assembly.  She was singing some made up song that poked fun at the colorguard, and I was the captain at the time.  I'm quite positive that she knew I could hear her, and was singing that song for my benefit.  Yeah, it hurt my feelings, but it didn't make me wish I wasn't in marching band.  Ever.  Most of my happiest memories involved the marching band in some way, shape, or form.

Even before I had even met your mom, I was a nerd.  And a geek.  (I know, shocking, right?)  I can still remember how I was bullied in grammar school.  I still remember the girl's name, what she looked like, and how she made me feel.  I don't know why she picked on me, but I'm sure that one reason was because being a student came so easily to me, as I'm sure it does for you.  Would you believe that all those years ago, my grandmother was right?  They are just jealous.  Of you.  Of me.  Of your mom.  Why?  Because we're smart, and we don't apologize for it.

Your mom is right:  kids are mean, girls in particular.  The ones for whom schoolwork doesn't come easily will call you things like "Brainiac" and "Miss Know-It-All" and probably worse.  It'll hurt.  A lot.  There will be days you wish you weren't so smart, because maybe those girls would like you then.  But even if they did, they probably wouldn't be true friends anyway.  The other geeks and nerds might not wear the latest fashions or be Cool, but they are true friends and will be there for you when you really need them.

True friends are the ones who love and accept you because you're smart.  And you are.  I hope you never feel you have to hide that, because that's just one of the many, many things that makes you, you.  I think you're a pretty amazing kid, I love you, and I feel blessed to have you for my Goddaughter.

Your Fairy (Flaky) Godmother

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