Friday, April 8, 2011

The Most Popular Kid In Class.

I have been called a lot of things in my life, but "popular" has never been one of them.

I was the small, bookish, brown kid in school, the one who walked the straight and narrow and was always the first person to answer the teacher's questions. I was highly competitive, and if trivia about the cellular structure of celery was an Olympic sport - I'd have totally won gold.

I didn't ever have a lot of friends growing up...and even though I was very happy with the friends that I did have (who are still my best friends today), I always wondered what it would be like to be one of the popular kids. You know, the ones that didn't have pop-bottle glasses and who were allowed to go to boy/girl parties (You could catch diseases if went to places like that and didn't study for next day's test!).

I started growing out of my social awkwardness sometime in high school (right around the time I started growing into my independence...which was a long and arduous process in and of itself), but even today, I still sometimes have flashbacks to lonerville. I'm never really quite sure where I stand with people, never really sure if I'm following all the right rules of society when I talk about my unyielding love of Harry Potter or the fact that I can name the first 20 Elements of the Periodic Table in my sleep (Ayech-He-Li-Bib-Ke-Nof-Nee-Nal-Mig-Al-Sip-Pis-Cal-Ark-Ka is how you would say it phonetically - just in case you were wondering).

Until Now.

Inara always brings home the artwork she has created at school, and I always hang it up on our Giant Wall of Art in the dining room. Lately however, she's been painting less and less, choosing instead to play with her friends (because she's SOCIALIZING WITH HER PEERS! Sniffle!). So when she bounded in the door yesterday with a large rolled tube of paper, I was understandably surprised. I was excitedly looking forward to a new addition on the Giant Wall as I unfurled the roll and said, "Inara! Did you do make this for the me?"

She bent over, taking off her sneakers, "Nuh-uh", she muttered.

I unrolled it and looked at the picture, slightly confused.

"Inara...this doesn't look like your art. Are you sure you didn't get mixed up, and maybe bring home someone else's artwork instead?"

Inara was sitting on the floor and she looked up at me, rolling her eyes as if I was just about the densest person on the planet. "MOM. It is for you, okay? I didn't paint it though. My friend Ruby made it. FOR YOU. Didn't you read the picture?"

I squinted at it, more carefully this time. Slowly images and words began to emerge, like little surprises popping out of a surrealist piece. I smiled as I read the faint white words: I love you. Ruby.

Down below, Inara's teacher had written "For Mrs. George, Ruby"

I have to admit to to getting a little choked up, and I had to catch myself from tearing up when Inara sighed at me, and used her Are-You-Really-Not-Getting-This-Yet? voice. "Ruby made that for you, Mom. And now ALL the kids in my class want you to come and visit so that they can make you pictures. So can you just visit already?"

Like it was the most inconvenient thing in the world to have a popular mom.

Which it probably is, but I could care less. It only took me 32 years, but I'm finally the most popular kid in class! Booyah!

And the best part about having four year-olds as best friends? They LOVE the fact that I'm a nerd. You should have seen them today at school (I finally did go and visit, and I had all my little friends hanging off my legs while Inara just rolled her eyes and shook her head at all of us like we'd lost our minds). I finally have an enraptured audience to showcase my many and varied talents for. Periodic Table Song, anyone???

Have a great weekend, friends! Don't forget to check in next week for the Do Something Good's going to be such fun! xoxoxmahreen
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