Written by Emily
Okay, we can pretend that simply seeing our children smile everyday is validation enough for the grueling, no-pay job that is parenting. But that’s like a teacher saying, “If I can just make a difference in one child’s life, my career will be worth it.” If you are an aspiring teacher, take that line out of your cover letter stat. First, you may think that’s true now, but it’s not…not when you’ve had hundreds and hundreds of students walk through your door (some of whom are real gems–and by gems I mean…well, the opposite of gems). But beyond that…one kid? a difference to one kid? Boo. You need to reach far more kids than that for you and for them and for their parents. So get rid of that hideous statement.
Back to parenting. I may have really believed at one time that simply holding my sweet baboos in my arms would be enough to sustain me. Seriously? Not even new baby smell and oxytocin coursing through my system is enough to sustain me for a lifetime of parenting. There is reality involved here. I love my kids unconditionally despite the reality of their craziness.
So let’s go ahead and bring the validation, the standing ovations, the hip-hip hoorays for the everyday victories of parenting. A little something to say we notice and we appreciate that you survived the drudgery and the silliness, the wacky and the bizarre of parenting–without which would not have gotten you or the children to those big moments: graduations and goals, recitals and grades, awards and accomplishments.
So here it is. Acknowledgment and thanks for the mundane (hey, if preschoolers can wear caps and gowns and participants can get awards for just participating, parents deserve awards, too. Because let’s face it, we do far more than just show up).
Award for Unparalleled Strength:
For the super-human ability to carry one’s body weight in groceries, a screaming child, a diaper bag, a coffee and the keys while simultaneously closing the car door and opening the house in one fell swoop.
For unprecedented commitment to getting children to and from practices and games wearing the appropriate gear (most of the time), for enduring youth sports of any kind, for cheering…always cheering maybe even for the other team…seriously who has the ball?
Momstacle Course Champion:
Awarded to the mom who hurdles laundry piles, dodges dropped legos, spins around toddlers and serpentines through strewn crayons with the speed and agility of Jackie Joyner-Kersee in order to clean up a spill, rescue a screaming child or answer the phone (you know, to have at least one adult conversation).
The Comomedy Award:
For feigning laughter at terrible jokes, for never yelling “That. Is. Not. a. Joke!”, for not lighting your hair on fire to escape the room during still another made-up knock-knock joke.
The Jekyll and Hyde Award:
Given to a mother eerily adept at contorting her face to privately reprimand her children in a public space with such intensity tears come to her eyes and in an instant turning with startling sincerity and enthusiasm to smile at a passing neighbor as though nothing were amiss.
The Navigation Award:
Awarded for the remarkable ability to weave seamlessly in and out of traffic while swatting into the backseat, threatening to pull-over, handing out snacks and changing the radio station without taking your eyes off the road.
The Certificate of Silence:
Presented to parents who say nothing despite desperately wanting to say so very much as their children choose the wrong partner, apply for the wrong job, follow the wrong crowd, eat the wrong food, and generally make horrible, horrible mistakes (that should be but will not be followed by “You know better”).
The AcadeMOMMY Award:
For demonstrating unrivaled enthusiasm over another preschool craft made out of but not limited to: Q-tips, cotton, popsicle sticks, glitter, fingerprints, noodles, googly eyes.
The ScatMom Award:
For knowing one’s children on such an intimate level, it’s obvious to you who is responsible for the special treat in the unflushed toilet. No need for inquiry or investigation with your honed sense of smell and keen eyesight. It’s a gift.
Certificate of Authenticity:
Given for your commitment to always doing the sniff test. Always.
Go ahead. Send this to the parents you know. Copy just one and slap it on their FB wall. Heck, give yourself one or all of them. We all need a little validation. Happy Parenting!