He doesn't have that "popular gene". He'll never be invited to parties, sit at the cool kid's table. He'll never be prom king or sit on the homecoming court.
But today? Today he won an art show. An art show that comprised the entirety of his middle school. He had kids coming up to him congratulating him, kids telling him they weren't surprised he won. His name was announced in front of the entire school and faculty. The kids that have bullied him, made fun of him, made him feel less than worthy applauded for him. For one bright and shining moment, my son, my socially awkward/geek/nerd/unpopular kid, felt popular. He felt wanted. He felt he mattered.
So, please, while you're teaching your child to dribble or throw a curve ball or pass with a spiral, please teach them empathy and kindness as well. All children deserve those cheers. All children deserve to go to bed with that feeling, even just once.
- Dawny Wendy
Addendum - after some reflection upon reading a comment, I wanted to clarify a few things. Firstly? I think my son is the bees knees, cooler than Coca-Cola, etc... He will eventually have his own brand of cool and more than likely has it already. But I have no illusions as to who he is though. He won't get his accolades from being the star quarterback or any other sport. He won't get props for being in drama or band or the like. His strengths come from his artistic talents and his intelligence. Secondly, he won't sit the TYPICAL cool kid table. He'll be part of his own cool kids section. But it will be one of his own making, just not the typical one.