Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quickie: The Nobel Prize, Fruit, Hookers and Why Parenting Sucks

The dad from Sh*t My Dad Says and I must have been on the same page. One evening, his son claims he said, “A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed."

And before reading that the next morning, I wrote:
Parenting sucks because you never reach the end of the job and you never get to see any results you feel qualified to take credit for. Adversely, you feel qualified to take credit for every weakness your child exhibits. When you’re homeschooling, you double down on this special brand of suckitude.

Naturally, the sh*t-speaking dad said it better. He’s poetic that way. But the point is that every parent knows the fruitlessness of the job. Be fruitful and multiply? More like, be fruitful, multiply and then get your fiber some place else ‘cause there ain’t no more fruit in that bowl.  

Yeah, yeah, thanks for the flowers on Mother’s Day. And the banner in the hallway was adorable. But when will I ever know that all these years and years of 24/7 hard labor will ring up as three cherries on the slot machine? Scratch that. WILL I ever know that I did a good job parenting my kids? How? When?

It would be so nice/terrifying to get a report card in the mail one day.

            Keeping them alive: ____
            Patience under fire: ____
            Maintaining a sense of childhood without over-shielding them from reality: __
            Producing children who become adults who are:
-keepers of the Earth: ____
                   -people who hold open the door for the next person: ___
                   -not normal in all the best ways: ____
                   -appreciate the difference between Phillip Glass, Phil Lesh and Phil Collins and know which one to listen to: ____
                        neat without being all f-ed up and OCD about it: _____
                        just really nice people: _____

Surely, I’m getting too caught up in the lack of quantification in parenting. All I can do is suck it up, just keep swimming, and do the best I can. And I should listen to that foul-mouthed father: “Calm down. You don’t just grab a ruler and tell everyone to whip their dicks out. You stuff your crotch and keep your pants on.”

Got it. Suck it up, just keep swimming, keep my pants on. Good rule of thumb in any situation.

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