Monday, April 25, 2016

Let's Get Awkward!

First, let me say that I wrote this post in my head as I tried to fall asleep in between checking on my feverish baby and my restless preschooler.  This mom life stuff is no joke, and last night, no one slept (except, maybe the dog, because she was smart and stayed in the living room).  Even when I knew I'd be up again in an hour or less, I still felt my mind wandering. 

My own awkwardness is always on my mind, sitting there, simultaneously waiting to bust out and hoping no one notices it. 

Someone always notices.

I spent the first fifteen or so years of my life in a similar conundrum - so shy, I barely spoke to anyone other than my closest friends and family but so chatty I was constantly in trouble for talking in class.  How could someone so shy talk so much? It's a mystery. 

I see it showing up in my son, too. He hides behind me when we meet someone new, but if he has something to share, say about the lizard we found in the yard, it was THIS big, and he stayed in my hand until I let him go, well then, you'll be hard pressed to get him to stop talking, regardless of what you actually wanted to talk about right then.

Anywho.  I'm a talker.  But I also am TERRIBLE at reading situations when someone is messing with me. In my extended family, if someone said something mean, they meant it.  I'm RUBBISH at responding to quick, witty repartee (and apparently also would like to be British...). 

Sometimes, it's not worth it to even try.

I'd rather be quiet than awkward.

There's more than one reason I love to write.

Maybe it's not that I'm awkward. Maybe it's that I need the chance to edit what I say as much as what I write. Unfortunately, that doesn't exist in real life; so, I wander around trying not to be awkward.

There are days when I own it, covering my fumbling with confidence, "Yep, I'm awkward, and your point would be???" 

There are days when I'm, magically, not awkward. I like those days.

As a kid and as a teenager, I thought there would come a day when the fog lifted, and I would "get" things. I would notice the joke before it felt hurtful.  I would keep up in conversation. 

I'm still waiting.

What worries me now is seeing it in my son.  He talks and talks. He only wants someone (anyone, everyone) to listen to him.  He tries to make jokes that his peers make, but the punch line is off, somehow.  Oh, sweet boy, I would like to tell you to give it time, but this may simply be

I imagine it is a matter of make-up, of genetics, of the very fiber of our being.  He's so much like me, that there's a good chance his little brand of awkward will stick around for a lifetime of fun.

We can be awkward together!


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