Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My yearbook ad to N

Parents were able to place an ad in the yearbook for their 5th grader.  I can't remember how much the different sizes cost, but I opted for the smallest one because 1.) I'm cheap and 2.) my child doesn't need a shrine.

Even with selecting the smallest, I had trouble coming up with what to say.

I'm not particularly good at praising my children, at telling them I'm proud of them.  I think I take after my dad in this regard, which is sorta maddening because as a kid I wondered why he wasn't proud of me.  He was always very proud of me, I think, but perhaps he feels like I do....that I don't want my kids to think they are better than others, to think they are so great they don't need to work hard.  I don't want my kids to be cocky turds, which I think can happen when a kid hears how amazing they are all.the.time.

My dad sent me flowers when I was inducted into the National Honor Society in high school. He wrote the card. When dad writes something, it is important to him; he really means it.  I still have that card.

So this is what N's ad looks like:

Even though I blather on in this blog, I opt for simplicity in the public sphere.

When she brought her yearbook home, and I read some of the other parents' ads, I wondered if the lack of flowery compliments bothered her, if she read some of the other ads and questioned whether her parents think she is beautiful and smart and amazing and delightful and every other MadLib adjective you can include.

I do think she is all those things, but I don't need and/or want everybody and their grandmomma to know it.  Because when I see parents do that stuff (in yearbooks or on Facebook or in person), I roll my eyes and think to myself, "Well, whoop-de-do!  Isn't your child just so special."  Especially if they are the parents that do it once a week.

I know my child is special to me.  I don't expect anyone else to think she is special, and I don't expect anyone besides her grandmothers to want to listen to me carry on about her awesomeness.  Which I don't.....not even to her grandmothers.

There are some people who can write things about their children and sound sincere.  Some people come off as braggy.  I take the self-deprecating route, and where that is not appropriate (like a yearbook ad for one's 5th grader), I choose modesty. 

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