Offspring the Third thrives on interacting with other people. (It's quite a contrast to his siblings, who enjoy fewer people, in fewer numbers and on fewer occasions.) In addition to joining the marching band at high school this year, Offspring the Third also is working as a stage hand for the school theater production. Because of the twofold social circles of band kids and thespians, there are numerous get-togethers and pizza parties and video game tournaments and birthday shindigs and whatnot. He seems to thoroughly enjoy it all. I'm tired just thinking about it.
I'm tremendously happy for him -- after being relentlessly picked on by various horrid little classmates in grade school (those were some terrible, terrible years), he has found his niche. Niches. Bravo, my fine young man, for persevering, for trying, and for putting yourself out there in the world. I am very proud of you.
One of the benefits of this particular desert city is that all of Offspring the Third's classmates live within an easy drive. While Offspring the Third will likely work on getting his driver's license soon, until then, I am more than happy to chauffeur him wherever and whenever he needs -- which is sometimes a lot of to-and-fro. Right now, he's at a birthday party for a friend; since he had theater rehearsal this morning, I went to the mall (ew) to the one store where we knew we could find the gift he wanted for his friend. And it was my pleasure to do so.
When I was in high school, my classmates were widely dispersed; the school (which delivered an absolutely magnificent education, for which I am always grateful) was in the middle of the city, and my classmates and I all lived in various suburbs. It was often a 30 to 40 minute drive, through the city, to someone else's house. I didn't go very often.
I participated in very few extracurricular activities. I worked backstage for the musical productions, though, because the theater director lived in my suburb and could give me a ride home. And I also worked on some occasional theater productions at the brother school; since it was located in the adjacent suburb rather than across the city, it was not nearly as tricky to attend practice regularly. Other than that, though, I did not. I did not want to inconvenience anyone by asking for additional transport. I could not do so. It was Not Done.
I know I missed out on some things. Many things? Things. Water under the bridge, now.
Yet my history has shaped me in a particular way: I willingly take Offspring the Third wherever he needs to go. I never want him to feel as though he's inconveniencing me or being a burden. I want him to have the chance to do the things he'd like to try -- if he is brave enough to try, I will absolutely do whatever is needed to support him. I am glad that I have this opportunity to help him to do All The Things. In a strange way, it redeems pieces of my past. And I am grateful.
In which I get my comeuppance
4 days ago