As I was watching my son today in Tae Kwon Do, I was reminded of the character, Napoleon Dynamite.

All the other kids were wearing dark colored shorts or sport pants with a dark tank or T-shirt. JD stood out in his gold spangle basketball shorts and his bright yellow Spongebob T-shirt. All the other kids were lined up with their hands held behind their backs in attention formation. He was striking a pose reminiscent of Mick Jagger or David Bowie.

The instructor started them on the round kick. All the children were concentrating really hard, trying to get the steps down, quiet and controlled. JD's arms were flailing wildly and he was kicking so hard that he almost knocked himself over. He was exhaling loudly and I could hear him talking himself through the kick.

The instructor went from child to child guiding them individually into improving their technique. In fact, quite a few of them got quite a grilling. When he got to JD, he sighed ever-so-slightly and instructed the child next to JD to give him more room. JD's friend, who had decided to come and watch too, leaned over to me and said, "I don't think he's getting it."

He's such an unusual boy. He draws all the time (he gets it from me), making up animals, games, getting his schemes down on paper. If he hears you talking about sex he will throw his hands over his ears and run out of the room. I mean, we try to be progressive about it, but he just isn't having any of it! He blushes if you even talk about kissing. Yet he is constantly talking about getting married. He has had a girl picked out since kindergarten!

He's so awkward sometimes, it's almost painful to watch. Seriously, I cringe. And then there are the times when he becomes quite the schmoozer talkin to the ladies and getting them giggling (older cute ladies, like college ladies, oh yeah!). Or the times when he becomes Super-Intellectual-Man and holds conversations with some of the professors on campus, rubbing his chin and motioning with his hands like a seasoned politician.

Despite his awkwardness, he has always held quite a bit of charisma. People of all ages are drawn to him. They aren't always sure what to make of him, but they can't help wanting to be around him. He also has the ability to relate to people of all ages. Even though he is super smart (his IQ more than meets Mensa requirements) and can totally hold conversations with adults- even really smart adults; he can still play like a kid. He's still likes kid things and plays kid games and dreams kid dreams (well, OK, he does already have his wedding planned and he did just check the other day to see how much money we had saved for him to go to college and whether we had it in at a good rate- but he still dreams kid dreams I tell you!).

One of my main objectives as a parent was creating an environment where he could become an individual, his own person. He's definitely blazing his own trail. And I am proud of him. His friend turned to me later that day and whispered, "You know, that JD. He's a really great guy." Yes he is.


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Blogger evilsciencechick said...

already has his wedding planned??? I don't even have MY wedding planned!

he sounds like such a cool kid! good job, sylvana and got mad parenting skilz ;)

July 15, 2005 6:17 PM

Blogger sideshow bob said...

Our child is insane...but what are ya gonna do?

July 15, 2005 6:30 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

ESC- *blush* thanks! He sure keeps things interesting!

SSB- and I still love you.

July 15, 2005 8:08 PM

Blogger Maria said...

Has he tried Rex-Kwan Do? It sounds like he would be very good at it.

July 16, 2005 1:01 AM

Blogger Derek Knight said...

eh...He'll grow out of it.

July 16, 2005 8:48 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Maria- we couldn't afford the $300, but he is selling boondoggle keychains to try and raise the money.

Derek- There are definitely some things I hope he never grows out of.

July 16, 2005 8:51 PM

Blogger SierraBella said...

So refreshing to see a real individual and unique thinking young person!
Gee- I wonder where that came from?

July 17, 2005 11:05 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Sierrabella- The public school system? :p

July 17, 2005 12:05 PM

Blogger ORF said...

You know, it sounds like he's one of those kids who will most likely never be fully understood by his peers while he's young, but fortunately a) feels quite comfortable around adults and b) is quite accepted and appreciated by adults, so he's got a good sense of self. Kids that I know now who are like that are so neat, but when I think back on the two or three kids I knew like that who grew up with me, I often think it must be quite hard. But the thing is, I think most people will agree that middle/high school can be a real trying time on the teen psyche no matter who you are. In the end, it builds character, but man, you couldn't pay me to go back to seventh grade!

July 18, 2005 10:13 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

ORF- He's homeschooled so he won't be going through that popularity contest/fashion show that is public school.

July 18, 2005 10:22 AM

Blogger Randi said...

how old is he?

July 18, 2005 10:59 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

He's 12, but he'll tell you that he's a teenager.

July 18, 2005 11:31 AM