You know the one.
The kid who can't quite fit in. The kid who makes funny noises and faces on purpose. The kid who enjoys being annoying. The kid who takes things just a little bit too far--every time. The kid who never gets invited to birthday parties (Scratch that. He's actually going to one next week, thanks to a very kind boy with a very kind mom.). The kid who never gets picked to be on anyone's team, in anyone's group, or anyone's partner, for anything. The kid, much like Anthony H. in my 5th grade class, with whom NO ONE wanted to square dance. The kid that, 28 years later, everyone will remember not wanting to dance with. The kid who has forevermore ruined any teacher's (or classmate's) chances of naming his or her child with that same name, due to the haunting memories (sorry, Anthony--I just couldn't do it). The kid whose brain is a sieve when it comes to multiplication facts, but a steel trap when it comes to quoting stupid movies and inappropriate radio songs (Ke$ha and Kid Rock, you are not my friends). The kid who could be Joey. The kid who gets so emotional about the tiniest of things that other kids just have to stop and stare, mouths agape in wonder. The kid who doesn't realize he is being teased or dared into doing something stupid, just for the entertainment value. The kid who will always have those kinds of friends, because they can simultaneously understand one another perfectly and get on each other's nerves. The kid whose signs need to be held to try to prove I am a decent mother. The kid whose own older brother will not tolerate or defend. The kid whose lack of friends and social skills is written down in permanent text on his school record, making his mother cry yet again in another IEP meeting.
He is also the kid who brings much spice and humor to our family. The kid who is the most compassionate when someone is hurt or sad. The kid who is the most contrite and sincerely apologetic. The kid who jumped to his sister's aid in her moment of crisis. The kid who hugged an elderly stranger in an elevator, just because. The kid who, in the very middle of an emotional meltdown of epic proportions, saw tears rolling down my face and stopped to ask me what was wrong (What the? Were you not just here???). The kid who plays Pokemon with his younger brother and sister and never tires of it. The kid who has movies playing constantly in his head. The kid who can imitate anything he sees. The kid who can walk into a room and know immediately who is a good guy, and who is a bad guy. The kid who makes me grateful for mornings after emotionally stormy nights, because he is so forgiving. The kid who made me a much better mother because of the struggle. The kid who will make a great adult. The kid who I know FOR SURE was supposed to come to our family. The kid who can be so attuned to the Holy Ghost and spiritual things and places that his entire demeanor changes. The kid who reminds me that the Spirit's influence is absolutely real, and so is God. The kid who is walking evidence that God knows us personally and will help us through anything.
Yin/Yang, I guess. It's the story of his (and my) life.
Yes, he is that kid. And for better and worse, he is mine.