Once upon a time, there was a mom at a flag football game who made me completely bananas. Bonkers bananas. She was the one that yelled so much, and so loud, and was so over the top in love with her little player that I couldn’t think of anything other than following her and becoming her sideline stalker to get the scoop for this post.
To be fair, I’ll call the kid Bob. If your kid is really named Bob, I promise I’m not talking about him. Or you. I don’t know Bob or his screaming mother and never saw them again after that day. But what caught my attention was how she spent the whole game following little bit along the sidelines and praising his every move. And never once, that I heard, congratulated the team or encouraged another child – just Bob. Then she told him he’s special and that all his efforts were wondrous and noted by the gods of flag football or whatever. I almost died.
Years ago, when kid 1 was playing basketball, I finally asked a dad at a game to quit the hollerin at his awesome son named Ethan – because he was
disturbing distracting me, and my own kid on the team – who is also named Ethan. So every time Loud Dad yelled at his Ethan, my Ethan got confused. And no one wins when the team has lost its mind.
The point of all of this – when I started writing this post, it was about parents – other parents – over praising and encouraging kids to unrealistic highs, which can only lead to realistic lows for the kid in days to come. Seems we’re surrounded by parents who are raising sports prodigies and all around angels, when the rest of the world is raising regular kids. I happen to have regular kids. Three of them. Smart enough, healthy enough, capable enough, and plenty enough for this world just as they are…. but all the same, regular kids. Some days they are perfect in my eyes, some days I pretend they got switched at birth.
When I started writing this post, I was ready to get onto those parents who are raising their kids on a platform higher than the rest, because there’s really only one way to go from way up there…. and it’s not what we moms want for our babies.
But then the bright light of parenthood shone on my judgmental ways, for about the billionth time on this 17 year journey, as I stopped at the gas station one day and asked Kid 1 to get out and fill up the car. But that was obviously asking too much – and I was told that I was using up all his time. ALL HIS TIME; that for the majority of the day had been spent sitting around in pajamas playing XBOX.
I saw again that I really have no clue what I’ve done, or what I’m doing now and in the days to come. But I’ve obviously spoiled someone with word and/or deed and now they think they have a full staff of servants to shop, cook and clean for them. All while they relax and play video games.
So just like Flag Football Mom, who is hoping against all hope that she’s doing something right by her kid, while other moms like me look on and say a big NO…. turns out it’s kind of a disease spreading throughout the land – parents like me who just try what seems right until we find out it wasn’t. I get it.