Dorky enthusiasm and other social ‘no-no’s.

I noted the other night to my husband, that our son has inherited my tendency towards what I call, ‘dorky enthusiasm’. Why is enthusiasm dorky? I don’t really know the answer to that, except to say that it doesn’t seem to be ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ to show extreme, jumping dance excitement over seemingly mundane events these days. If you do, you are probably not cool 🙂

Sadly, society drove most of my dorky enthusiasm out of me somewhere around 12 years old. Although I am glad to say that I still have a little bit of it left. I mostly only show it to my husband and my parents though. My son on the other hand, thank fully hasn’t been out in the world enough to have his quashed. 

He will quite happily watch a movie that sparks his imagination and then spend the next three days dressing up like a character from that movie and talking endlessly about the scenes he liked best. He has even been known to excitedly jump up at the end of watching it and immediately shout to the world how great that was, or how he just loves and wants to be this or that character. It’s cute. It’s also dorky.  

He’ll immediately want the musical score for a movie that has touched him and will then proceed to listen to it over and over on his ipod, dancing and singing around the house and garden. Yes, he even does all the sounds of the orchestral pieces. Dorky in the extreme!

It can sometimes be a little wearing on the adults around him, but as I observed to my husband, and as someone posted recently on Facebook,

“As parents, it is our job to give our children so much self esteem that the entire world cannot punch enough holes in it to bring it down” I love that idea, but it’s quite hard to achieve. Especially in the face of dorky enthusiasm!

Sometimes as I watch my son or listen to him talking endlessly, I start to get a sense of what my Mum went through with me. I know that I was fairly precocious and had a tendency to approach total strangers and start talking to them. I also didn’t mask either my excitement or my disdain on any or all subjects that I thought I was expert in. My son is exactly the same, and it’s just not considered socially appropriate for a six year old to wander up to people and tell them how they should or should not be doing this or that. 

I try very hard not to stop him too often though, as it’s actually only my own feelings of embarrassment, or lack of interest in talking to certain people that make me feel uncomfortable when he does it. For the most part, the recipient of his enthusiasm is highly entertained by it.

For example, my husband had drinks with his work mates on Friday night, so my son and I went to the movies. As we exited the cinema, the cleaning crew were entering to clean for the next showing. My son held the door open for them, which actually made him stand right in their way, but he didn’t seem to notice that. I quietly praised him for being so kind in holding the door open and then tried to usher him out of the way. The cleaning crew were four teenagers, and my son started chatting to them since they weren’t going past him (because he was in the way….)

Son: “Thank you for cleaning the cinema! In the first row near the stairs, the second seat has some popcorn on it. Sorry about that, it was my seat and I dropped some! I can stay here and keep the door open for you if you like!”

Teenager 1: Laughed nervously and then looked at me. “Oh! You are welcome. Thanks for doing that! Did you like the movie?”

Son: “Oh yes! I’ve seen it before, but I wanted my Mummy to see it. Daddy is having drinks with work tonight, so we had a date. My favourite part of the movie is when the little bear jumps down the lady’s dress into her boobs! That was really funny!”

Three teenagers carrying brooms and bags all laughed, one (the only girl) pushed her way gently to the front and said, 

“Thanks kid! Now we have to go in and clean. Watch out, so we can get past!” Turning to me, “Your son is so cute!”

Me: “Thanks.” I had the whole while of course, been beckoning to him to move out of the way and also saying here and there (when I could get a word in), “OK, come on now. Thanks for that, let’s go. It’s time to go now!”

I’m pretty sure those teens will have a nice story to tell their parents and friends later though about that funny kid. 🙂

Sadly, one day his dorky enthusiasm will have to be curbed in order to blend a little better with the oh so very cool people around him, but until then….. GO FOR IT POPPETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOO HOOOOO! jumping dance, jumping dance, jumping dance 🙂

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