Nurturing "other"ness

Last night I met up with some old friends who we (me and A) had known in Miami for several years. Their son attended the same French school as A, and was A's best friend. They have just returned from assignments in Spain and Belgium and landed - surprise, plunk - in our Westchester village.

Mondo piccolo, I say.

We talked about our sons' "otherness" over the years - lack of materialism, Alexander's homeschooling, our boys' interest in the dynamics of world relations (we had been actively discussing the dynamics of the U.S. involvement in Iraq with our boys over the past year-and-a-half), and how our sons are oddities in otherwise pop-culturesque classrooms.

Our boys are "deep" - and as inward-thinking kids, and do not hold title as "upwardly popular boy", as may be acceptable by some of their classroom counterparts. Indeed, our boys have suffered a bit with our travels in addition to their parental influences about the world.

Friend Returned from Europe: "I know we're not supposed to talk about adult things with our kids, but we can't help but want to discuss what is going on the world with our Alex."

Me: "I do the same. If it's not too over-the-top for them (and who better to know than we parents), I think it's okay to go ahead and see where the deep conversations take you..."

Not exactly a hermit, my son likes video games and rock music.

But the choices he makes with them have been interesting. Parappa the Rappa ("I Gotta Believe!"). Beatles (what young people avidly - really avidly - listen to the Beatles today?). The Kinks.

and tonight, on the iPod, this:

A: Mom, listen to this!

"I Don't Want To Be"

[Me listening]:

I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind
I’m tired of looking ‘round rooms wondering what I’m trying to do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me

It put last night's conversation in perspective. A already nurtures himself, his otherness, and he knows who he is.

I don't want to be anything other than me. Take that, peer pressure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My kids (8 & 5) aren't into the Beatles (as I am) but go nuts for Elvis. The 8yo tries to listen six hours a day.

A friend of mine once told my husband that of all the folk she knew, I seemed the most comfortable with who I was and what I liked.

How good for A to know himself.

-- Heidi