Aidin was helping me make dinner the other night (eating strawberries and loitering) when I asked him who he played with at recess.
"I don't play with anyone. I'm a friendless freak."
Taken aback I told him not to say those kinds of things about himself, to which he responded,
"I don't. The kids at school say that."
Surprisingly, I didn't respond in typical mama bear fashion, mostly because I realize that kids are assholes. They say and do mean things to one another. Instead I asked him this:
"Aidin, are you smart?"
"Do you call people names? Are you mean to other kids?"
"What are you going to be when you grow up?
"A geologist who is also a spy but in secret."
"What are you good at?"
"Okay, so if you met a kid who was really smart and nice, who loved to surf and was training to be a geologist spy, would you think that kid was a freak?"
"No. All those things are awesome."