From The Storyteller
Dec. 10, 2018, Geek
Unusually quiet, our 5th grade son is sitting at the dinner table with body language screaming something’s happened. Elaine asks, “How was school today?” Response, “Okay”, with no change of expression. Then twin brother asks, “Talk to anyone?” Response, “Yeah”, still no change. Our twin brothers do not cut each other slack so the follow up, “What about?” was predictable. This was enough to produce a waterfall of words.
It seemed that one of the older guys at school (as in 6th grader) called him a geek. To makes matters worse, he did it in front other 6th graders, and they laughed. Quiet fell over the dinner table as we all searched for a response.
Elaine, the wizard at these things, smiled and asked the obvious question, “What’s a geek?” He thought about it and said, “It means I am not like him.” Now the older sister asks, “Do you want to be like him?” The response is a firm, “No.”
At this point his twin spoke great dinner table wisdom. “Well, if being a geek means you are not like him, and you don’t want to be like him, then when he called you a geek, you should be happy.” That seemed to settle it and the sad face broke into a smile – problem solved.
As a family, we gently tugged on the right threads and opened a door. That night, 5th grade first-aid took place at our dinner table. This helped me to see two important things. First, no matter the age, there will be times when we all need help. Second, there is wisdom at a family dinner table that often goes untapped.
As an afterthought I silently gave thanks that my grade school years don’t have to be repeated.
Moral: Life in the 5th grade can be tough.