I have known many ten-year-old boys in my life – from the ones who would not stop pulling my hair long enough in fourth grade to let me finish my reading homework, to the ones whom I taught in my fifth-grade classroom who were pros at impersonating Beavis and Butthead, to the two who have lived in my own home, to the ones I co-coach in basketball this season.
Ten-year-old boys are weird. And funny. And spazzy and busy and silly and actually pretty cool if you can manage to have a conversation with them long enough to find that out. They are unique creatures who are caught in the middle of a space-time continuum – no longer one of the little kids, nor one of the big, stuck smack in the middle of those tough “tween” years.
Add in the fact that your father is one of the most recognizable businessmen in the world and that his position as leader of the free world has put your family in the middle of the world’s spotlight and it complicates your life just a bit.
Twitter was on fire during Friday’s inaugural ceremonies with #barrontrump as one of the trending topics. Much of what was being said about the ten-year-old First Son was simply uncalled for – speculation that he is autistic or a pyromaniac or a future mass shooter or rapist.
Now, there are always exceptions to every rule, but here’s what I know about MOST ten-year-old boys that will hopefully make the world shut up about Barron Trump:
- They hate to dress up. Three times a year I force my son into dress clothes – Christmas, Easter, and school picture day. At all other times, he is wearing a tee-shirt and athletic shorts – yes, even when it is 34 degrees and snowing outside.
- They don’t make eye contact and don’t really want to talk to you. Nope, not even if you ask them a direct question and step right in front of them. Not even when they are spending the night with your kid, and they need to know where your bathroom is. They will hold it the whole time at your house just to avoid asking you.
- They want to be doing anything other than what an adult wants them to do. Chores, homework, practicing the piano – it is all rushed through so they can be doing anything else, which includes but is not limited to sports, video games, hanging with friends, and eating (OMG, all the eating!). Speaking of eating . . .
- Their diets consist of cheeseburgers, pizza, and chicken. And sports drinks. Arguably, Baron Trump probably has a more refined palate than most ten-year-olds; but still, to be sitting at a stuffy table with stuffy adults and wearing a stuffy suit while eating it? All kinds of nope.
- They “keep it simple.” This comes straight from my son’s mouth. No rules, no innuendos, no fuss – just straight hanging with their friends and doing their thing.
- Mostly, they couldn’t care less how they look to everyone else. Comb their hair, brush their teeth? Meh. Fart in class, pick their nose? Oops, haha. They just don’t care much, and will usually laugh along with their buddies.
- Sometimes, they space out. They could be thinking about how much loot they have in “Clash of Clans.” They might be thinking about how hungry they are right now. They might be crafting their next Lego creation in their mind. They could simply be noticing that annoying piece of lint on your shirt or watching that bug try and fail to climb the wall behind you. Or they could just be like___________________________________________________________________. You will never know.
- Even though they still love their family, they are beginning to be embarrassed by them. They will kiss and hug you, but not in public. You can wave to them this time, but not that time. Again, have fun trying to figure that out.
- Being ten changes them. Almost overnight they grow three inches and need new shoes. Just when you think they’re unable to sit still or calm down, they suddenly find an interest which captures them. And just when you wonder if there’s something wrong with them, they do the most ordinary, totally normal thing.
- They not-so-secretly want your approval. Compliment a ten-year-old boy and watch him light up. Agree with him and he’s your best friend for life. Trust him with something important and nine times out of ten he will excel. Use the tenth time as a learning experience and he won’t tell you ‘no’ the eleventh.
Ten-year-old boys are not difficult to understand, but conditions such as autism and the emotional disturbances of a mass shooter or rapist are. Now granted, Barron Trump is no typical ten-year-old boy due to his wealth and upbringing; but he is a boy and it’s absolutely disgraceful for an adult to “joke” about these things where he’s concerned. However you may feel about his father and his politics, kids are off limits. Period.