Tuesday 12 August 2008

The Essence of Cool by the Queen of the Geeks

One thing growing up that I was NOT was cool. I looked like a geek (NHS specs, braces, frizzy hair pulled back into a long braid – should I mention the adolescent moush?), I also helped matters along by being good at school, having no social life and being middle-aged at 14. Of course things change, the discovery of wax strips, the late oestrogen surge, going to uni and making the most of my geekiness by turning it into exam marks and the one thing that is central to being cool – learning to live withyourself. I am not saying I am cool, but I certainly miss my status as Queen of the Geeks.
When I look at my children I see the opposite. Little Lady is a princess in her class. She had the biggest bear at her school teddy-bear’s picnic (this giant number that hubby picked up at a boot sale for £4 and had all of the kids chasing her round the field). She got picked up from school by her uncle on one of those noisy mini-bikes which increased her street-cred no end (and had me livid). She turns up to school in her tiara every chance she gets despite bans and confiscations and sneaks lipstick into school to lines up all the girls at playtime and does their make-up. She comes home with strange hairstyles which she says she got one of the “big-girls” to do.

Little Man is a geek, but a charming geek. He may wear check shirts with slacks, but he wears them with white high-tops and a white sport jacket. He already had his first leather biker jacket courtesy of my brother-in-law. He likes pretty girls and once asked me for one he saw on the telly (oh dear) and he always notices when I wear something nice. His best quality? When he wants something, he will wheedle, harass, cajole and fight till he gets it, even if it is days later, (much to my chagrin).

Gorgeous is just like Little Lady – sure in the belief that the world revolves around him. Pretty and with a chunky body that will one day be like his granddad’s (heavyset and without a neck – a true boxer). His answer to everything is a humungous cheesy grin that melts your heart and Mash’Allah nothing seems to get him down.

I should be grateful, I know I should. I worry though that my children will take all they have for granted. I think being bullied and at the bottom of the pecking order leaves you with a natural empathy for those less fortunate than you, it also gives you something else invaluable – character. Being in the centre and popular can be good, it can be easy and comfortable. It can also stunt your vision of the bigger picture. Sometimes being on the periphery, gives you the longer view and an alternate perspective on life.

Oh and I almost forgot - the essence of cool? Just being yourself of course. Learning to like and accept the person you are and not trying to emulate someone else.

Insh’Allah I hope my children are successful in everything they do, I pray that Allah (SWT) bestows on them good character, excellent iman, intelligence, health and beauty, I also pray that they use all of this in His path. I wonder though how I will ensure that they remain humble and modest and remember where these gifts come from and why.


  1. Your kids are fantastic! May Allah (SWT) protect them. How I see them is that you have experienced life by going out there and learnt from your parents mistakes of bring you up and your kids are reaping the benefits, which InshaAllah is what we all hope to bring to our kids.

    A friend adviced and I have read in Sisters magazine is that to help your kids become humble people you should get them involved with charity work. However, wait until they are a bit older to understand. It should be a family affair which could shape their life in such a fantastic way. Not mentioning the hasan you will get!!

  2. i think we were all geeks at school -with the expectation of having to do well and stay out of trouble -although some of us shook off the 'geek' with more ease than others!