(This applies to these two yahoos as well)
I truly don’t. If my kids want to grow up and have average jobs and live a life in the rut of mediocrity, that’s just fine with me. If they are happy, I’m good with that. They don’t have to do great things, as long as they do good things. My job as a parent isn’t to get them into a top school, or get them to land that once in a lifetime job, if that is what my kids want, then that is their job to reach for those things. My job as a parent is to teach my kids love, compassion, fairness, and how to do good. If they do well too, that’s up to them.
You can have all the intelligence and money in the world, but if you’re not a good person, then you’re kind of a waste. Now don’t get me wrong, they are both smarter than your average bear, and my son knows it. I think he may fall into the “gifted underachiever” category that he is genetically predisposed to. He is a human sponge, always learning and picking up on things, but when you ask him something straight out that you and he both know that he knows the answer to, he pretends to not know. He plays dumb or makes up an answer he thinks is funny. As frustrating as this is, it’s ok. My success does not rely on his brains. I will consider my job a success if he thinks of others. If he sees a classmate hungry so he buys him lunch that day. If he sees someone in need and he helps them out. If my kids think of others, I don’t care if they go to Oxford or Whataburger university.
There is so much going on in the world now, it truly is a small world. You can no longer turn a blind eye to things that don’t affect you. I recently read where a student was planning on making a bomb to take to my former high school. A school where some of my friends’ kids go. It knocked the wind out of me to think this could happen where I grew up. I was so glad to see that his friends stopped him, not by trying to tackle it themselves, but knowing when something was beyond their capacity and alerting the right people. These kids are heroes, and I hope mine can learn from them. Did anyone, even once, ask what kind of grades these kids being home? No, they were too busy thanking them.
We put a lot of pressure on our kids to succeed, but is anyone teaching manners anymore? Or common sense -don’t get me started there. We have the world at our fingertips, the answer to any question we can think of, but are we losing the connections that make us human? We don’t treat each other like people anymore. In the quest for perfection and the right college application, we have thrown out common decency and manners. It’s easy to do with a phone full of “friends” and “followers” whom we never actually see face to face.
Feelings are an afterthought in this world, and I hope, our kids rebel against us. I hope they see that their mom has posted over a thousand pictures of them on Facebook before they even turned one, and yearn for privacy. I hope they reject the technology that numbs them and reach for actual interactions and compassion that were the first things abandoned when we were shuttling kids to all the activities they need as preschoolers to get into an Ivy League school.
I will never be impressed by what school your kids get into, it doesn’t matter. I will, however, be highly impressed to watch you teach your son to give your seats at a funeral so an older lady can sit and say goodbye to her friend. In the end, when it comes to your own funeral, what do you think will matter, how much money you made? Or how you treated the people in your life?
I promise I’ll get back to cooking soon, there are just a few things I need to get off my chest as I’m up in the early morning hours with the baby…