everyone’s a winner, except they really aren’t

Circulating the interwebs again (when does it ever not circulate through the interwebs?) is the question of whether or not our precious children should get a trophy for anything that hands out trophies just for showing up?

Should they?

Hmmm…..funny, but I was just having a conversation about this with some friends. Oh and there was the Dancing With The Dance Stars event we just attended where prizes were handed out for the best dancers and the best decorated tables.

No, Hollie and I did not win…as amazing as our table was. I don’t know about Hollie, but I’m okay with that. Really. Honestly all I wanted was for our table decor to celebrate our birthday boy because although Jodie, Daniel and Hazel were dancing and competing their dances had nothing to do with what was going on at our table. At our table we were celebrating a little boy turning eleven. All the work Hollie and I put into our table paid off when Daniel told me the next day that he had a great birthday.

WIN!

Then there were the dancers competing against one another…did Jodie and Daniel or Hazel and Ami win?

No.

That’s okay too. All the dancers received little medals and certificates acknowledging their participation but there was only two big prizes and two big trophies to be awarded and they truly were awarded to the best performances of the night…in the eyes of the judges. Yes, I loved the performance of the first place winning couple and I agree, they deserved it because it was that good; but me, I’m biased. I thought Jodie and Daniel were amazing on stage together and although Hazel had a moment…a tear-filled moment, I loved watching her and Ami dance together. They were my favorites. Still you won’t see me complain, stamp my feet over the injustice of it all or whisper trash talk against their team mates whom they competed against or the judges.

Everyone can NOT be a winner. Sorry.

Yes, I’m the mommy that thinks like that. Sure, it’s easy for me to think that way. Over the years of school awards assemblies I have enjoyed the embarrassment of riches of academic awards that my daughters have received. But I also have rolled my eyes as the principals would continue to pass out awards to each and every single student because...hurray you read a book…one lousy book…in school…where you are supposed to be reading books…because your job as a student is to learn…but we’re still going to give you an award so you will feel just as special as the kids who read more than a hundred times than you did.

Hurray! Let’s celebrate mediocrity!!!

Right??!!

Of course I also am writing this as the mother of a child who has floor to ceiling shelves FULL of trophies. But the thing is they are trophies that she has earned through literally blood, sweat (way too much stinky sweat in my mom-car), tears, blisters, callouses, sore muscles and hours upon hours of practice practically every day of the week of every year for the past six years. All that hard work is reflected in every single one of those trophies next to her ballet barre in her room. Yet she has not, and likely will not win a trophy at every single dance competition she has participated in or will participate in.

Is it fair?

Totally.

The kids she has competed against over the years are that good and work just as hard as she does. I’ve watched a lot of them grow up with my tiny dancer.

In my heart of hearts I KNOW that my child is, indeed, that special. Still, no, my child isn’t necessarily that special in the eyes of the judges she dances before…or the teachers whose classrooms he sits in…or to the bosses she works for.

That’s reality.

That’s life.

My job, as a parent, is to support my children…to encourage my children…to loudly cheer for my children, because they are going to know that whether they win, or they lose, I am on their side. But I am not going to argue with judges who deny them trophies or who don’t award them a spot on the team nor will I call their bosses for them.

That’s reality.

That’s life.

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