Sunday, November 10, 2013

Being the Last One Picked

For Halloween I signed my youngest son up to participate in a Pumpkin Pass with his 3rd grade class. The way it works is that the teacher drops the pumpkin off at one of the student’s doorstep, then that student picks one person off the class list to pass the pumpkin to by leaving it at their doorstep the following day.

Well I completely forgot about this game until the day before Halloween when the class pumpkin showed up at our door. The boys jumped out of the car with excitement to see this unexpected gift. When we realized what it was, my youngest son shouted with anticipation, “Who do we pass the pumpkin too?”

I pulled out the class list that was carefully tucked under the pumpkin and with disappointment I realized that every student had been crossed off the list. We were the last ones picked.

I realize that someone has to be the last one, but honestly, this didn’t surprise me. My little one is different than his peers. He interacts in a unique way, has a short temper and often plays by himself at recess. During class time, I have observed him talking bluntly with his peers, he doesn’t always see the social boundaries that his classmates observe. It made sense to me why he might be the last one picked, but for my little one, this was the first moment that he seemed to recognize that he may be different.

“Why was I the last one picked?”

He walked away with his head down and heart broken.

As much as I find him completely adorable, incredibly imaginative and sweetly quirky. I’m afraid his peers may not always see these qualities. I’m worried what the years ahead will bring, when kids lose their tolerance for the differences in one another and when “coolness” takes priority. What will he experience then? Will he always be the last one picked? 


  1. I feel so bad for your son. As a soon-to-be teacher, I find activities such as this to be awful, as somebody always ends up getting hurt. I would never do anything like this with my students.

    1. It's nice to hear a soon-to-be-teacher is sensitive to these activities.