Like many strange children before me, I suffered through elementary school. I loved learning and was often the Teacher's doll. To the kids around me though, I was anything but cute. They considered me a freak of nature. A weirdo. I was taunted with names like "Voodoo on a Stick" and "Four Heads." All because I was rail thin with a big head and even bigger eyes.
So when my seven-year-old reported that she defended Christopher T. against some bullies, my heart went racing with pride. My daughter is champion of the outcasts! A friend to the misfits! These are the things I told myself.
I imagined Christopher T., this boy with a slue-foot, bestowing gratitude on my kid for coming to his rescue. Weeks went by with increasing conversations about Christopher. When she bragged about beating him in a race, I thought, 'Girl Power!' I was glad she finished first, even if he did have a draggy foot.
Soon she declared she and Chris were best friends. And somehow they now shared emotions. "Today was the worst day of our lives," she said after they both lost their reading charms.
"Our daughter is a sensitive soul," I told my husband.
When the hubby went to volunteer at school, I got a call from the yard.
"Christopher T. is a distraction to our kid."
"The slue-footed boy?"
"No! You got the wrong one. This boy does not have a slue-foot."
When I went to gather her later that day, the Playground Supervisor pulled me aside.
"I wanted to tell you that Chris T. would play basketball every day after school. Now all he does is hang out with your kid. It's quite cute."
"Who is this boy?" I asked.
"Chris!" the Supervisor yelled.
Chris T. turned. In slow motion it seemed. My question answered. This was Boy Wonder.
I sighed deeply. Probably my longest exhale ever. My brain was not prepared for the real Christopher.
"Oh," I said to the Supervisor.
"Yep," she replied.
The Supervisor rubbed my shoulders soothingly.
Maybe one day my daughter will make my 'hero of the weird bunch' tale come true.
Until then, I've got my eye on Christopher T.