Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Secret Advantage of Nerds

This post was prompted by the following interactions on Facebook. (For those of you not on Facebook, see all the scintillating discussions you're missing out on?) While a brilliant and beautiful woman, Krissy's comment reveals her ignorance of the secret advantage of nerds. So I will write this post to enlighten you cool people out there about why Mike and I hope to raise a nerd. Be assured that all of the below reasons are highly scientific and thoroughly researched.

(I think it's fairly certain we will raise a nerd. Mike has already planned the one-month old baby's Halloween costume: Yoda on his back as Luke Skywalker. I've already planned my baby's first portrait session: we will not pose the baby with fuzzy baseball bats and basketballs, but will pose him/her with a pince nez, pipe and Shakespeare anthology.)

Nerds Develop Character. It's true! It's even biblical: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4) No, at the time, Mike didn't thoroughly enjoy being stuffed in lockers or trash cans (I didn't think kids really did that except for on Saved by the Bell, but apparently they did.), but because of it I have the mature and complete man I have today. Yes, perhaps this adversity made him a bit lippy and scrappy, but it also made him compassionate to the weak (which I adore in him) and sensitive to the underdog, while also being incredibly resilient.

Nerds Don't Get Invited to Parties (and therefore don't develop destructive behaviors). While your cool daughter was busy going to parties where there was drinking, drugs and heavy petting, the nerds were bowling or playing Settlers. I've never done pot because I was never cool enough to be offered pot.

It's Vicious Being Popular. To some degree, all kids are cruel, but no kids can out-cruel the popular. Popular kids, and especially pretty girls, can have to face just awful social experiences - lies, rumors, backstabbing. It's ugly out there in Mean Girl world. In the meantime, those nerds are ignorant while role-playing in their parents' basement.

Nerds Are Nice. OK, pretty people are nice too, but I've met a number of a really attractive adults who are humble, unassuming, kind, compassionate, interested in other people, funny, etc. So often I find out that they were the biggest dorks alive growing up. For example, our small group leader. He's a tall, well-built, nice-looking guy who is a smart engineer. (Don't worry, Mike agrees so I can say this.) He's also extremely kind, loving and interested in others. Why? Because he used to carry a briefcase to school in the 7th grade. He had no friends. (OK, so I should make an exception, kids with no friends don't have all that much fun.) But because he was a nerd, Eric couldn't skate by with his social circle; he had to develop a personality. I say, if you have to be pretty, at least start out nerdy. The world will be better for it.

Nerds Can Just Enjoy Themselves. OK, I don't fit into this nerd category, because I was obsessed with what others thought, but it's something I've learned being married to a nerd. While popular kids are worrying about what will make them cool and accepted and what activities are acceptable and which aren't, the nerds are often just enjoying themselves. Sometimes, this is what makes them nerds. i.e. They refuse to give up their love of Star Wars graphic Tees even in high school and get teased by all the kids. But that kid, by being secure enough to hold onto his likes despite popular opinion is in so many ways more balanced and happy than the cool kid who is only focused on what is cool. (Editorial note: Some lines do have to be drawn. For example, when Mike married me, his Darth Maul boxers hit the trash. Those weren't coming into my house; no way, no how.)

In conclusion, if you are a nerd, embrace it! If you have a nerdy baby, then remember, there are a lot of advantages to the secret life of nerds. Here's a parting video to remind you of the awesomeness of nerds.

11 comments:

Krista said...

We are hoping to raise a bunch of nerds ourselves :)

NV said...

More nerds! I think they have the fun. Love the video. NV

Steph said...

Very wise. Very true.

Teresa said...

I can't wait to see Halloween pictures of Baby Yoda! My nerdy middle son and I just had a Star Wars marathon last weekend!
Oh, and in response to the comment you left on my blog. Yes, you can most certainly move in, but you have to bring ice cream. I'm particularly fond of some form of chocolate/coconut combination, but I can be happy with pretty much anything in the chocolate family.

walkwiththewise said...

It's great that you have given this some thought before junior nerd comes long. I think parents have a lot more influence over their kids in this area than they think, just think about Mean Girl's Mom, she's usually a Mean Girl too etc. Parents who ponder these things are more about to help their child navigate the rivers of social life - if only to send them out with a nerd pack as a life jacket :)

Amber said...

Teresa, that sounds like a fair trade. Although don't hold your breath for pictures of my baby dressed up as Yoda. As I said, lines must be drawn.

Michelle said...

This has been my philosophy with my children. I constantly worry about my kids becoming "popular", I don't want to have to deal with that. My daughter has already logged many hours watching star wars.

Elizabeth M. said...

Amber, Micah was Leia for Halloween :) I am hoping for a cute little book worm, but no trash cans!

PamS said...

Amber, thanks for the chuckle today. Donnie Osmund was a great addition here.

blissfullykrissy said...

wow, I feel late to the commentary game here Amber.
it seems you want to enlighten "cool and intelligent" me, but you forget that i'm in the process of raising 2 nerds myself...both with thick framed glasses.

Amber said...

Krissy, your pre-teen and teen are by far the coolest I know. And their thick framed glasses are very hip. Admit it, you're super cool, Alex is super cool and Priya is super cool. :)