An open letter to my unborn son.
Someday you’re going to discover the truth, so we might as well air it out now. Your mom and dad – we’re geeks. And proud. And by the time you understand that, it’ll be too late for you. You’ll be one too.
But that’s okay.
It’s more than okay. It’s fan-freaking-tastic.
And I’ll be the first in line to tell you so, because nobody ever bothered to tell me that when I was growing up.
You see, your mom always felt like she had to choose. I could either be the gamer girl who loved anime or I could try to be one of the “cool kids” who turned their noses up at the former. You can guess which option I took in high school. Rich — it. Was. Miserable. I happen to be an introvert (which seemed like a damn shame at the time). The few friends I had never knew that I spent my free time at home mastering healing macros on FFXI, daydreaming about YuYu Hakusho, and nursing my addiction to Neopets.
These were some of the most interesting things about myself, and I hid them away. I chose to be boring so I could paint a pretty picture for the world. Better to have no hobbies than fall victim to social stigma, right?
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to choose. There doesn’t have to be a separation between geekdom and sociability. And I sure as hell hope I teach you better than to shame yourself for enjoying something you love.
Honestly, it took meeting your father for me to even realize that that’s exactly what I was doing. Your dad – typical high school jock, captain of the football and wrestling team, Mr. Popularity – is and always has been a complete nerd. I’m not kidding; the guy grew up on LAN parties, Neverwinter Nights, and MTG. But the beautiful thing about it? He doesn’t hide that fact. Ever.
Our idea of a good Saturday was watching a marathon of Stargate while playing Heroes for eight hours straight. I remember spending an entire day on the couch to celebrate purchasing all the extended editions of LOTR. Little by little, nerd Amber came out, and I have to tell you, it was so liberating to meet someone who saw me clearly and loved me because of (and not despite) my quirks.
Someday I hope to be for you what your dad was for me – that pillar of acceptance and encouragement. I hope you take after him and wear your hobbies with pride. I hope that when your friends ask you what you did over the weekend, you’re not embarrassed to brag about your paladin slaying that dragon. But most of all, I hope you never feel like you have to put on a mask for the sake of someone else’s expectations.
Be honored to be nerdy like Momma. I promise you, weird kids make for the most interesting adults.