My heart trembled as Ads bravely walked into his new school last August. There were no histrionics or drama in the run-up to the first day of school. What happened that first day, I still don't know. I worried about bullies, mean kids, sitting alone during lunch time (horror of horrors!). He seemed to have taken it all in his stride.
My heart broke when he told me - "I sit alone during lunch sometimes. People like to sit with the popular kids and I'm not popular."
(Later I realized that he didn't really care whether he was popular or not. He was issuing a bald statement of fact)
My heart surged with pride when he made it to the Honor Roll (straight As), one of a tiny handful among the 400+ kids in 8th grade.
In his 13th year, Ads is very much his own person. Unbothered by his peers, somewhat aloof, impervious to what's in and what's not, he rarely bends to accommodate the trends of the day.
Everyone is on Fortnite, Instagram and Snapchat? Let them, he reads the Scientific American to relax!
Everyone talks about football and baseball? Let them, talk to him if you can talk intelligently about cricket. Or neuroscience. Or particle physics :)
IPL the current craze? Hmm...ok, maybe for some....but test cricket is the real thing!
My boy makes his own rules. An introvert in a world of forced extroverts, an avid reader in the social media age, a dinosaur in a world of screens and devices, a cricket purist in the age of IPL.
I wish you would develop better social skills, laugh more, and loosen up more.
I wish you would bend your own rules every once in a while.
I wish you wouldn't hold me and everyone else accountable to your own sky-high standards!
But never ever lose this gift you have, of knowing who you truly are, and giving a damn about the rest!