“I’m a freak.”
I was hardly listening so when I answered it was a gut reaction, “You’re not a freak silly” and I kept on making the bed, straightening the corners.
“They think I’m a freak.”
I still wasn’t listening, consumed with a bag to pack and the time on the clock slowly ticking away. However, I was still answering, “You are not. Hey, where did you learn that word?”
“They just said it on TV.” I twisted to see an episode of SVU on, which is normal in our house at any hour of the day.
“Well you’re not.” I concluded out loud, navigating the bedroom (stopping to plant a kiss on the crown of his head) carrying on with my Sunday morning duties and wondering if I should lay clothes out first or shower.
“Mommy?” he said. I looked over at him standing in front of the mirror wand in hand, shirt and argyle vest donned under his Hogwarts robe and small round black glasses circling his eyes.
It was 8am.
“It’s okay if I’m a freak. I mean, I love Billy Joel and Willy Wonka of course. I know songs they don’t know and I like to make them do plays of Rocky at camp.”
I thought about what he was saying.
“I don’t think that makes you a freak, Jakey.”
But I worried.
Children are honest, raw and brutal. There are bullies who want nothing more than something (or someone) to make fun of and a child like Jacob is ripe prey.
Deep down I know how Jacob feels. He is a big thinker with a heart that is soft and all encompassing. He also doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how he’s perceived. He knows who and what he is, right now, in this moment.
Standing there in my bedroom I saw his life years from now as the creative and quirky kid in his class; the sensitive boy who remembered your favorite movies and colors, the outspoken twin who wore interesting outfits and took acting classes on Saturday mornings, the Piccini kid with the big personality.
All at once, I was glad that he wasn’t in public school. I knew first hand that a small Catholic class might not be enough to insulate him from teasing or ridicule but I also knew it could help to encourage his huge imagination.
“I’m a freak too.” I said to the air around us.
He nodded, “Because you love Harry Potter too? And your books? Oh and Mommy, you and me love Pride and Prejudice. “
“You and I.” I corrected. “But yep.” I answered sitting down on the bed and pulling him into my lap.
“You and I.” he repeated.
“…are freaks.” I finished and hugged him close.