We all have our hopes and dreams for these little people we love so much. Some of those dreams include praying they’ll be happy and fulfilled, content, and loved. Some of those dreams include them hitting it out of the park at Fenway or dancing across the stage at Juilliard.
Which is probably not going to happen.
Let me let you in on a secret: It’s okay if your kid isn’t good at something, and it’s actually even better if your kid isn’t good at everything. They need to learn how to fail and figure out what they are actually good at. There’s a lot of trial and error in that process. And that’s okay. Getting a B in third grade isn’t going to keep them out of college. Dropping that fly ball in U8 won’t keep them from the high school team. As a parent, it’s really, really hard to see your kid strike out in baseball or trip on the stage. It’s hard watching them not be the star of the show, center of the stage, lead batter, and first base. You are so proud of your baby, and you should be. But get over it.
Don’t take it too hard when they aren’t the best out there. It’s not a reflection on you. And it’s not even a reflection on them. Cause newsflash: They’re kids. They don’t need flashcards for how to memorize the periodic table when they’re five (“Parenthood” reference, anyone?). They will learn to walk, run, read, tie their shoes, and nothing you do to speed that up will make them any more special.
Because you love them for who they are, right? Not just who they could be or who you think they should be, right?
Instead of that blue ribbon at the science fair or a first step among the playgroup babies, enjoy their face when it lights up when they finally “get it.” Reflect that joy back to them when they do it by themselves, on their own time, and in their own way. Celebrate what they love to do, encourage it, buy the equipment for it or pay the fees for it. Love what makes them excited while it makes them excited.
And if they’re not good at it, decide they don’t like it or outgrow it, that’s okay. Who they are at five isn’t going to determine the rest of their lives. No one’s scouting for the Red Sox at T-ball, folks.
Trust me, they will find their passion. They will find their talent. And when they find what they love, they will be good at it. And it might be something you never even dreamed of.
So until then, be okay with the fact that there are going to be strikeouts in life. And you just need to be there to pick them up and clean that orange ballpark dirt off their pants.
And love them for who they are, right in this minute. Your baby.