Nerd Circle

My prince is a genius. Yes, it’s true. But he’s not the only one in the family who has the gift of smarts. My sister’s kids have it, too. In particular, my oldest nephew, “Doc.” <– Nickname chosen by him.  He wrote it in a comment on one of my first posts.

When Doc was growing up, his parents wouldn’t let him watch a lot of TV or play video games or listen to certain types of music. So he read books. A lot. Still does. And he’s the type of reader who retains everything. It makes me sick.

Let me be very clear, here: Reading’s not all he did/does. I don’t have enough room to list his activities, but I’ll say the top three: soccer (or is it futbol?), swimming and drum major(ing?).

He also was salutatorian — which still infuriates me because he was valedictorian but got bumped out in the end by a girl who’d taken AP classes and earned just enough points to bypass him. Puh-lease. If he’d had time to take AP classes, there would’ve been no contest. The dude is a mastermind with favor on his side. He chose his fully scheduled life of activities over a couple of extra classes.

He’s equally as kind. I also don’t have enough room to list his random acts of kindness, but I’ll tell you he was voted prom king by his peers. Like I always say, it’s one thing to be liked by your teachers and adults, but when your buddies respect you like that, your character shines.

I was so blessed this past year. We’ve always been close, but when he decided on a college program located only an hour away from my house, “favorite Aunt Melissa” grew strength.

I had the honor of taking him on his college campus tour when he was making his decision. I had the honor of watching his face light up as he named all the different airplanes he saw on campus. I had the honor of snapping pictures of him and J around what would become his future educational home. I had the honor of repeatedly honking the horn obnoxiously and screaming out the window “College road trip!” as he blushed and giggled and tried to act like he wasn’t excited.

Funny, I have a photo of him in diapers sleeping on my bed in my dorm room when I went to college in Philly. He and Mom and my sister moved me in.

My heart leaped when he told me he’d been accepted into the honors program and had officially chosen that school and his major, aerospace engineering (right, Doc?).

Then I had the honor of picking him up every month to bring him to my house for a good “home cooked meal” and some dirty-laundry washing. We’d share in some intense dialogue and dreams on those trips to and from his college. And every single trip I’d say, “One day, [Doc], you’re going to step outside to find me in a nice car. I mean it. I’m going to shock you one day when I pull up.”

While at the house, he’d make fun of my cooking, we’d play games, he cleaned out and washed my minivan. He dripped in sweat watching J’s football games, and he froze to death while we snuggled under a blanket at J’s baseball games.

Mostly, I just enjoyed watching him work with and spend time with J. It amazes me how well they get along, given their age difference. They’d sit and build roller coasters or design virtual flight thingies or compose music on the computer or hold live jam sessions. One day I found them with their laptops hooked up and open while one was playing guitar and the other was playing piano.

When we’d play board games, they’d challenge me on everything. And always sometimes they were right. Darnit. Even when I’d try to make fun of them by calling them the “nerd circle,” J would correct me and say, “We’re in a triangle!”

Then it happened. My mom gave me the news: Doc was changing majors and had applied to the top schools for math.


Math major? Really? He’d talked of nothing but becoming a pilot or working at NASA for most of his life. I was shocked, but I understood. I mean, who doesn’t change majors a handful of times? I want him to find what works for him and what makes him happy.

But he wouldn’t be here anymore. That’s a tough one.

Today, he called me from my mom’s car on their way down from Pennsylvania, so we could solidify plans to meet up before the family goes on the cruise. Before we hung up, I asked: “Well, [Doc]. What’s going on with school? What have you decided?”

He’s been accepted and has decided to go to school in our hometown in Pennsylvania. “For pre-med.”

You go, boy.

By the way: On his last day of school, I picked him up in Jett.

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  1. Just remember, he is my grandson. He rode down to FL in our car and had the opportunity to drive on the main highway with lots of traffic for the one leg and on the way home, he did two legs. Great job. I am so blessed. Mom

  2. Yall may be proud of our little guy, I however… am the proudest mama ever!! Can anyone explain how and or why God has blessed me with the best family in the whole world??