By Briton Underwood of Punk Rock Papa
“You’re a weirdo. I don’t want to play with you,” said the boy who was roughly a little over a foot taller than my son.
My son’s weird action? He walked up and waved.
In that moment, it hurt. The clenched fist matched the lump forming in my throat…the one I couldn’t swallow. As the
dick child ran off, my son stood there looking confused. He likes to walk up to other children and help them when they fall. He waits his turn. He reaches his hand out to hold others’, for no reason other than it’s nice to hold someone’s hand every once in a while. Weirdo, in this household, is something said in a laughing manner. “Oh, you little weirdo!” after being caught chewing dog food.
It wasn’t a word used to exclude.
We have all been in that moment at some, or many, points in life’s journey. A person’s propensity for meanness is something most have become numb to, knowing it will never change. Some of us, me included, have even been on the giving end, making another person miserable for simply being alive.
It caught me off guard to see my son treated that way.
I didn’t run over and trip the child who was mean to my son. I wanted to, absolutely, but my clenched fist and I stayed back. As much as I want to fight every battle for my son, I know there are some I have to sit on the sideline and cheer him through, albeit sometimes silently. I didn’t seek out a parent to tell them how they are raising America’s Next Top Douchebag. These are kids, and this will happen the rest of my kid’s life. This was my son’s fight, and unfortunately, I couldn’t be tagged in.
That is why there was a lump in my throat.
At two years old, my son got his first experience of what it is like to not be liked. At two years old, I watched him be treated differently for no reason whatsoever. In that moment, a little boy, MY little boy, began a battle we all fight every single day. My son learned people in this world sometimes don’t accept you, even if they have no reason not to. And that that breaks my heart.
The fact it happened, coupled with the knowledge it will happen again throughout his entire life, broke my heart.
The judgement. The exclusion. The petty name calling. People not liking you for whatever you did that rubbed them the wrong way.
It will happen all his life.
And while at twenty-four, it fucking sucks, at two, it doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem fair…
Today at the park my son was called a weirdo by some older boy. Tonight before he goes to bed I will tell him being a weirdo is perfectly fine and to fly a freak flag high. I will also let him know it is perfectly fine to throat punch pretentious little douchebags on the playground who call him a weirdo.
This post originally appeared on Punk Rock Papa.
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About the Author
Briton Underwood, better known as Punk Rock Papa, is a parent above all else. When he gets sick of being at their beck and call he likes to escape to his page or site. He writes about any and everything he wants, but mainly about his twin boys or his newest addition- another boy. He also would like the world to know he has a beautiful wife, because the couch isn’t that comfy.