Remember how stressful highschool was ...peer pressure, acne, insecurity, and more cliques than an army of tap dancers (that's for my writing teacher)?
Well, you might find it sad/funny/interesting in that having kids, you get to experience it all again. Just when I thought it was all behind me, I forgot that I'll have to coach my three kids through it all. What's worse, I may have to deal with it again, too. More on that later.
I laid in bed last night with my first case of severe doubt on whether I'm raising my kids good/smart enough. A fellow 3-3/4 year old made fun of my oldest daughter. And it may have been my fault (for putting her in that position).
Here's the deal. Marylin had a hootin' hollerin' fun time handing out Valentines a couple weeks back. Then this past Monday she took little pieces of paper - 9 of them - and made cards for her friends. Why? Because of the pure joy she found in giving. An admirable trait. She literally sat at the kitchen table for 10 minutes (a long time for an almost-four-year old) and drew each one personally, each customized with a certain li'l friend in mind. Some had letters on them (Ms and Ls), some had criss-crosses, and some just had lines. She hand made them all and to me, her Dad, they were nine Picasso's as far as I was concerned. I said, "put them in your back pack." She excitedly did so. The next morning, she gave them out I presume she was awfully proud.
Later on that same day she had her friend, we'll call her Paris, over for a play date and when I called home I asked my wife to ask if she handed out her cards. Marylin said, "yes." Then "Paris" (that bitch) said, "she ONLY drew an 'L'."
"ONLY?!?!?!?" What? Are you kidding?
So this "Paris" chick is, apparently, the letter-writing champion of the world?!?!?!?!! Was Marylin sad about this? Did she even bat an eye? Probably not. But I was destroyed. What if my daughter was heartbroken?
Either way, my heart broke. What now? I should either (a) encourage more writing and reading so Marylin is better than everyone and so that her cards have many letters strung together in something called "words" or (b) discourage her from making and giving these heartfelt gifts so that her heart (and mine) don't get broken.
Break her heart now and that sets off the whole insecurity thing and will she be laughed at, never have any friends, dye her hair black, listen to The Cure (or the 2000s equivalent), and hang with "that crowd." She'll call me "Don" instead of "Dad" for heaven's sake. I can't have that.
Seriously ...she promised she'd be 3 forever and she's totally NOT staying 3.
And then what about me? I'm not from Birmingham or Bloomfield Hills (or even Oakland County for that matter). Maybe the parents (who I'm finding all seem to be from this area) will see me as an outsider. Maybe I need to pull "the ultimate prank" to ingratiate myself to the in-crowd? Maybe I need to make more money and buy a flashy BMW ...then I'll be cool. But what if BMWs aren't cool anymore and all the other Dads laugh at me and their wives say I "try to hard."
Well, here's hoping I'm reading too much into this, but just in case, I'm going to save the money I was going to spend on a new telescope and if the opportunity comes along to buy the friendship of the coolest-Mom when she spills red wine on her best friend's dress ...well, I can bail her out and she can pretend to be my friend and make me and my family "cool."
That would be rufus.
2 years ago