Thursday, March 26, 2009
I am raising science geeks, and thanks to a 50 cent thrift store box of science experiments, I've got the photographic proof.
Zaya's always been obsessed with science of all different types, and Mim is following in his footsteps, except in her own little way. Zaya's interest is usually of the verbal/written variety. He loves to read and talk about science. He loves to play games and watch videos about it too. (Last Friday he watched some videos about the different body systems for 1 1/2 hours. And no, I did not make him. I tried to drag him away after about the fifth viewing of "The Urinary System" and "The Immune System".)
Mim, on the other hand, is all hands-on. She loves to "do speewamints" and learned early on on that if she tells me that the mess she made is part of an experiment I'll probably be much easier on her. She'll spend ages in the bathroom at the sink with various containers and different soaps and lotions and water. She'll poke around at strange things outside, and put rocks through tubes to watch what they do. Zaya, meanwhile, is swinging; lost in his own thoughts. It's so funny to watch their personalities.
I'm actually very proud of their interest in science, but I can see a difficult future ahead of them, socially that is; lab glasses just aren't designed to get you in the "most likely to appear in a fashion magazine" category in your high school yearbook. But here's my dirty little secret. I would infinitely rather my son and daughter grow up geeks than popular. At least for my definition of the word geek. And I am tired of apologizing for who they are. I'm tired of constantly feeling like I have to tell people what their faults are instead of being happy for their strengths. Other parents get to talk about how 'Jimmy' is the fastest kid on the playground, or 'Susie' has so many friends and just loves to sing. So why do I feel like I have to denigrate my children's achievements?
I remember a picture of my own mother in her yearbook that we used to look at all the time when we were little. She's standing in front of some lab equipment and looks completely entranced in what she's doing. I was always more proud of that picture than I would ever have been of a picture of her playing some sport, or standing on a plywood stage with a crown on her head. That's my mother. She's a nerd just like me. And I don't remember a single conversation where she told someone what my problems were instead of my strengths. While you might argue that I didn't grow up to be the most well-adjusted lady on the planet, I did grow up happy, and I did grow up knowing that my parents loved me for who I was and who I would be.
I hope my children will be well-rounded. I want them to enjoy exercise and sport; I want them to have friends and be well-adjusted, but if that comes at the cost of them stifling who they really are, and what God created them to do, then thanks, but no thanks. I'll take lab glasses over a tiara any day.
As long as I know my little geeks are on God's side, I am perfectly content to sit back and see where He takes them, and if he takes them onto a basketball court or a laboratory or both, that's OK with me.
This post has been entered in Scribbit's Write Away Contest.