Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm not conceited and that's why I'm the best

I just watched an old video of Michael Jackson performing at the MTV Music Awards about 20 years ago.  Man, he was great!

MJ was undoubtedly one of the best performers in music history.  He would be a perfect American icon if it were not for all that child molestation stuff.  I'm sorry - that alleged child molestation stuff.

It made me wonder: How does somebody get that good at something?

As parents, we struggle with wanting our children to be the best.  And we don't mind telling you that they are, either.  Because we already see them that way.  We are simply asking you to share our vantage point.

And although I agree that Joe Jackson beating his children was probably taking it a bit too far, how do we encourage our children?

This was especially poignant when I watched my first episode of Toddlers & Tiaras.

Good Lord, Jehovah!  What are these crazies doing to their children?  I understand the plastic trophy means everything to you, but Bozo scares me less than the paint job on your little girl's face.  

As I was watching a three year old get a spray tan, I thought, 'I would NEVER push my children that hard!'

Or would I?

Sure, my kids did not choose pageantry, but this does not mean that I don't want all our dreams to come true.  Ahem.  I mean, their dreams to come true.

Parents, tell me if you're feelin' me on this: When your children are born, the possibilities for their success are endless, right?

For example,

Your daughter takes leadership during an intense game of Foursquare and suddenly you're all, 'She could be President of the United States.'
Or your son has a great hit playing tee ball and you think, 'He will be just like Derek Jeter.'
Or your daughter dances along to the radio and you think, 'She could be the next Paula Abdul!'

No, nevermind.  Nobody wants that last one.

The point is that when our children are born, we think that they will become the famous politician, athlete or rockstar that we never did.  Yessss!  Only one degree of separation!

But as they get older, they crush our dreams one-by-one, and we realize that they are average just like we are.

I am certainly no parenting expert, but I think the key is making sure that your CHILD wants to chase this greatness.

If my daughter wants to live on somebody's couch while pursuing a music career, and she is happy, then I'm happy.  Or if my son wants to become an accountant and live a three bedroom house with his spouse and 2.5 children (I've never completely understood that statistic), and he is happy, then I'm happy.

Because, really, what is more important than happiness?  Other than the fame and fortune, of course.