The camera pans over to the Dallas Cowboys’ sideline – Tony Romo gazes up at the massive jumbotron as a small grin unveils on his face. Dak Prescott has just put the Cowboys in the end zone and on their way to another victory. Not too long ago Tony was in the same position; fist pumps and high fives and the roar of the crowd.
“And through it all you have a tremendous amount of guilt on having let your teammates, fans, and organization down. After all they were depending on you to bring them a championship. That’s what quarterbacks are supposed to do. That’s how we’re judged. I love that. I still do.”
I can’t help but relate Romo’s plight to parenthood. He’s worked so hard for the Cowboys, sacrificing his own body to lead them to victory. But his measurement of success will be based on his win-loss record. And as a parent, you work to make sure your kids have the best lives possible. And aren’t we judged by the quality of our children; how productive and meaningful they are to society? You are not perfect. As much as we wish, our kids are not either, despite the picture perfect Instagram posts. Maybe your kid is a terror, throwing tantrums at Target, or your child hasn’t checked off the boxes in their Ages & Stages questionnaire. And much like Tony, his team’s win-loss record shouldn’t measure how successful he is at quarterback, as a leader.
“Everyone wants to be the reason they winning or losing. Every single one of us wants to be that person.”
Tony could have made the case he deserves to be out there but he chose to swallow his pride because in the end, it’s about the team. Maybe your child will credit a majority of their success to a teacher, a mentor, a coach, or even a step-parent. They may seem to disregard your fingerprints in their upbringing but deep down you know you influenced them. And as a parent, there will be times you’ll have to swallow your pride and give way to someone else. It’s not the best feeling. It’s pretty dang humbling. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s about family.
As I watch the game with my daughters, I know there will be a time when they get older, they’ll realize that there were days I just sucked at being a parent. And just like Tony, we will all have our off days; but that shouldn’t take away from all the effort we put forth. We should enjoy our time as a parent and cherish all the fist pumps and high fives on the way.