To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “Parenting

Badge of honor

Saturday night, we enjoyed a nice fish camp dinner out with the family. Located a mere two feet from the entrance doors of the restaurant and parallel to the long line of waiting patrons, were tables set up to harbor the mothers little girls selling girl scout cookies.

The whole ‘mothers pushing sales’ thing touches a tender spot with me and it’s not a sweet one. If I’ve never addressed the subject before, humor me in seizing this little opportunity to do so.

On Sunday morning we headed out for breakfast and our weekly trip to the market. Lo and behold, more tables were set up approximately four feet from the entrance/exit doors of Bi-lo. FYI, Keith is very well-aware of this little ‘peeve’ I have and is ever-gracious in his endeavor to take my elbow and guide me within a safe proximity around them accommodate me. As we approached, two women sat posed theatrically behind the tables. Their girls, each six years old or less, were running around looking like they’d rather be picking clovers in a grassy field.

Mother #1: (whispering) “Go ahead, ask her…”
Munchkin #1: “ummmm, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cook ––”
Me (as Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo):No.

That was easy enough, I thought as we proceeded to walk in the store. We shopped, we bought, we paid, we go to leave. Actually – scratch that last one.

There, standing smack in front of the exit doors, in true ‘twins from The Shining‘ fashion, are munchkins 1 & 2. I purposely stepped on the mat to open the door, forcing them to move back. Mother #2 was completely disengaged as she sat cross-legged on the ground designing a campaign poster (seriously guys, I can’t make this shit up).

Mother #1 (again): “Go on, ask if they want to buy some.”
Munchkin #1 (again): “Would you like to buy some Girl Sc ––”
Me, to Mother #1 (as Linda Blair in The Exorcist): NOOOOOOOO!!

Didn’t add thanks afterward, didn’t pass Go, didn’t collect a bleeping $200, didn’t earn an Oscar. Now, for those of you who may call me a grinch, curmudgeon, or any other creative schmuck that comes to mind – so be it. Take solace in the fact that this was mom #1’s lucky day! It stands to reason that had there not been children present, my mouth surely would have chosen to take the road less traveled.

Being a girl scout was the only thing I was really involved in as a kid – and I loved it. Having been raised in a single-parent household, scouting was one of the few activities that was actually affordable. I learned that being a scout was just as competitive as other extracurricular activities like cheerleading, dance, music or sports – but this knowledge didn’t help me to understand why. Even then, those and other sought-after badges were very difficult to earn – I never did get one and believe me I tried. I can only imagine how much harder it is now due to the competing nature of mothers who opt to Occupy Walmart or Bi-Lo in a heroic effort to earn it for their daughters. Let’s fast-forward to my own kid, who I’ve witnessed endure many of the same trials and tribulations through years of hard work in playing sports.

Certain ‘perks’ and ‘opportunities’ are afforded to a few of every batch of kids as a result of extraordinary parental ‘involvement’ (aka, ass-kissing). There, I said it. Not only have I lived it – I’ve watched it. I’ve seen the tears of disappointment as a result of yanked opportunities that she knew in her heart she’d worked hard for and deserved. Chances that instead were handed to a kid whose parent’s head was so far up the coach’s ass they couldn’t tell where they ended and the coach began. I view this competitiveness no differently than I view those freakazoid pageant moms. Meh.

All done in the name of a trophy, a ribbon, a metal, a plaque or as the case may be… a badge. Call me curmudgeon if you will. I’ll NOT be one to justify these self-serving acts which always result in a child somewhere feeling less than just as good as anyone else. I guess some things will never change.


Cry along

Although being a parent can be one of the most rewarding responsibilities in life, it’s also well-known to be the toughest.

Parenting. Everyone has their own idea of what it means, a mental list of what all it entails. There are no two sets of individual views that are exactly alike, because even if they possess similarities – the end result is always the same. Bottom line, God really does break the mold when he finishes making each and every one of us.

No matter how old they get, we as parents will never stop worrying about our children. As a young lady, I used to shrug that sentence off when my very own Mother would say it, usually throwing in the old eye-roll. I remember how I used to feel when I was young. As a young adult, I believed my parents either thought I wasn’t smart enough in my own decision-making, or I perceived them as trying to ‘rain on my parade’. Boy have I ever made some wrong choices in life that I’d been forewarned about. When I would fall down, there would be no “I told you so’s”. What happened then, when I fell? My Mother knelt down to me and cried along with me.

It’s hard when you see the wants in life overpowering the needs. I’m talking about the real needs. The Necessities. I was always told, ‘just worry about getting what you need… your wants will come later’. I still have a lot of wants, but that’s okay, I have most everything I need. The week-to-week struggle to maintain daily life definitely takes it’s toll sometimes – but I never forget to be thankful for a good job. Because of that, there is gas in my car and food in my belly. And by the Grace of God, a roof over my head.

Control is no longer an option. There comes a time when our babies wings are finally developed enough to soar the skies – we can’t and shouldn’t hold them back. But sincere advice, cordially delivered, is an option. And as a lifelong loving parent, a God-given right. I only pray for the realization of basic needs to overpower the wants. Any parent who genuinely loves their children only wants the best for them – for them to have sincere happiness, health and prosperity. As for what the future holds – if there ever is an instance of falling down… I will do the only thing that I’m able to do as a parent.

I will kneel down and cry along with them.