Last week I had a little bit of a freak out.
If you follow the Facebook page, then you might have seen this post:
Tonight was the swim team banquet for Number 3 and 4.We didn’t go because I would have needed to get a babysitter, and because it would have cost $70 just for the three of us, and because it was four hours long and it’s a school night and it won’t end until 9:30.And then a friend texted me and told me Number 4 got the Most Improved award.
So I was feeling rather guilty.
Ten minutes later she texted again.
Number 3 got the f*cking Coaches’ Award.
Now I just feel awful.
It would have been a pretty big moment that they both really earned.
And they totally missed it.
I’m sitting in the office bawling. Is it okay to be bawling?
Ugh. I feel terrible.
like = You aren’t the worst mom ever. Please. Cause I’m really feeling like a shit ass mom right now.
So I turned that into a major tragedy.
I sat up in the office, crying, beating myself up and feeling terrible.
I think one of the hardest parts of being a parent is keeping things in perspective.
I lost perspective on that one.
I had convinced myself that I had robbed Number 3 and 4 of an experience that they deserved to have.
That they needed to have.
But in the big picture, it was a tiny blip.
Now my reaction was due, in part to a couple other things…
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that last summer, Number 4 broke her elbow.
She missed the whole summer swim season.
At the award banquet last summer, Number 3 was given the Coaches’ Award.
Number 3 was so proud.
And Number 4 was completely devastated.
It’s hard to see a sibling receive a big trophy like that.
Especially when, if she had not missed the season, Number 4 would have gotten the high point trophy for her age group.
I felt so bad for Number 4.
And I think I’ve been carrying around a bit of guilt from that.
And then I robbed her of this opportunity that she had earned.
So anyway, I got a lot of support after that post.
Several people suggested that I have a party at home to celebrate.
And I thought about it.
I thought about how I could make it into a really big deal for them.
Now let me tell you what ultimately happened.
The day after the banquet, Thursday, Number 3 and 4 had practice.
I asked the coach not to say anything to them about the awards.
I wasn’t sure how I wanted to proceed.
And the coach made a suggestion.
We could give them their awards at the end of practice.
A pretty simple solution.
And so, on Thursday, practice ended a little bit early.
The coach gathered all the kids around.
And for 1 minute, he made a big deal about Number 3 and Number 4.
In front of all their peers.
I think the looks on their faces say it all.
They felt pretty special.
I mean, Number 4 was basically making out with her trophy.
Clearly, they were not traumatized.
And I didn’t have to spend any money or sit through a 4 hour banquet.
Um, talk about a reality check.
Number 3 got the Coaches’ Award in his last 2 swim seasons.
I think it’s safe to say that there will be many more awards for him.
And Number 4 too.
I have written about how kids need to learn how to deal with disappointment.
I have written about how not everything needs to be a huge deal.
And I totally didn’t listen to myself.
I said earlier that my (over)reaction to missing the banquet was due to a couple things.
There was the broken elbow and missing the summer season.
Here is the second thing…
After spending a couple days thinking about it, I realized something else.
That moment of recognition that Number 3 and 4 missed?
I thought I wanted it just for them.
I was wrong.
I wanted it for me, too.
Because having your children recognized publicly for being awesome at something,
that doesn’t suck.
But that’s not what makes you a great mom.
Just as having a trophy wife doesn’t make you a great husband,
having a trophy kid does not make you a great mom.
Sure, those trophies are nice.
But it’s easy to forget, that the real recognition doesn’t come from some outside source.
The things that matter? The feelings of accomplishment?
Those awards come from within.
3rd PLACE SUCKS! I need your votes!
VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE!
I’ll keep writing, you keep voting!
All you need to do is click on the banner above to register a vote for me!
You can vote one time every 24 hours from your computer and cell phone! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I really appreciate your support!
Check out and “like” the not-your-average-mom.com facebook page!
Follow me on Twitter @mom_not_average