I was never the popular girl in elementary school. Definitely not the cool girl in junior high. Nor was I the "it" girl in high school. Far from it. I hated when the teacher would announce "Now, find a partner....." or "split into teams....." My stomach would get in knots and I'd anxiously look at the floor, wishing it'd swallow me up and save me from the embarrassment of being the last girl chosen. Ugh. No PE teacher should have the kids pick teams. That was one of the most fabulous feelings in the world, let me tell you. It was always left to me and the girl in the wheelchair. Go me.
When we did go to football or basketball games, it was usually me sitting with my Dad, while everyone else in my class would run up and down the track like a bunch of hooligans. Total "L" on my forehead ("loser" for the layman). Perhaps I am dramatizing the crappy social experience of my life as a pre-teen and teenager. However, it's not by much. Maybe that is why I loved writing and reading so much, even back then. When I was reading, I could transport myself to "Sweet Valley High" or was one of the babysitters in the Babysitters Club. I wasn't the odd and awkward farm girl, with hips too big and hair too poofy (sadly, my locks did not know a flat iron until college). With writing, I could ignore the blabber of junior high and high school drama crap and be the creator of my own world, instead of being a side item to theirs.
That is why, I am still getting used to going to athletic events at Holly.
I am the girl that the kids are excited to see and that the parents are pleased to finally meet. I have heard "Mrs Leiker!" more times than I have heard "Well, looks like you're the last one, Monica". It's so odd to me that people know and not like "Now, who is that girl?? No, not that one. The one with the not-so-big glitter belt buckle and embossed cowboy boots. Who is that girl..... I think I went to her wedding, maybe..." It's more like "That's Monica Leiker. She's Hayden's sub and the kids love her. I know, right? The kids actually enjoy a sub and she hasn't been ridiculed yet by the students."
Between Aaron and I, I'm the one that people recognize more than him. For example, at the homecoming pep rally that Aaron was announcing, a group of students were asking amongst themselves "Who is that guy announcing?" One girl answered "That's Aaron Leiker. He's Monica Leiker's husband."
Greatest.moment.of.my.life (with the exception of the birth of Colton, the marriage to Aaron, K-State beating OU for the Big XII championship in 2003, and finally graduating Graduate School).
For once since our move, I wasn't an accessory to my handsome tall blond husband. I was the main deal and he was the accessory and in his home town, no less. Fabulous. Simply fabulous.
I've told Aaron that I'm already jealous of our not-yet-born-herd-of-six-kids. They'll be popular. People will know them. They'll like them and just "Oh, she's nice"-like them. They'll go to football and volleyball games and have kids to run like hooligans with around the track. They may be picked last in PE, if they inherit their mother's fear of flying balls.
I guess this post is to those kids who were always and constantly pickled last in anything. Who doesn't seem to have found their niche in junior high or high school and to be honest: Who wants to have hit their peak in HIGH SCHOOL?! It's silly, looking back at those "cool kids" back then. The ones that thought their little worlds were THE world, sadly never left and still hang out with the same crowd. Eh, maybe it works for them, but it sure as heck did not work for me.
Someday, maybe someday, you'll be able to say that when you walk through the lunchroom during elementary chow time, you have a bunch of little bodies that want Mrs. Leiker to enjoy Chicken and Noodles with them.