I really don’t like the “everyone gets a ribbon” mentality that has begun to permeate our dealings with children. There’s a whole culture around this idea that showing up is the equivalent of winning and it really drives me nuts. There are kids who win and kids who lose, just as there are adults who win and lose. I’ve always been someone who encourages the winning and losing of children because I’m afraid of what will happen in this world when the kids who always got a ribbon get passed over for a promotion or, worse, fired. How will they handle the rejection of a partner or failing that class in college? It worries me.
There’s that but that I try so very hard to avoid because I know that it really just negates what I just said. Yet I say it.
I’m the parent of a kid who is amazing in my eyes. I am proud of her every day, though I know that there are things she doesn’t do well. Daughter is no runner, for example. She runs with a lumbering gait that I cannot even begin to describe or imitate. Both Husband and I have tried with no success. She knows she’s not fast or graceful when it comes to athleticism. She’s learning some basic moves when it comes to dance thanks to the copious theater work she’s been doing and she goes after it with gusto. She also sings with reckless abandon. Sadly, singing is not her forte either.
Daughter is a sensational little performer, and I mean that from not only a Momma perspective. My girl can act. She can cry or laugh or gasp convincingly, and she can recite lines like they’re her own words. Daughter has a wonderful way of emoting with her voice, eyes, and body, and she’s been practicing those skills all summer. Every play that she’s been involved in has been a musical, though, and all she wants is a solo. She’s been to four of these camps, performed beautifully in four musicals, and she’s never had a chance to sing a solo. So many other kids get them, and while there are one or two kids who are shockingly talented, most of them are just sort of ok. Daughter isn’t that much worse. She’s been there every day! She came in when she was feeling crummy and losing her voice! She learns her lines fast and well! But no solo because she’s just not good enough.
So there’s my hypocrisy, the one I accept about myself. I think I’ll allow it.