Like all other moms, I want success and great things for my kids, but sometimes I want equal success for them.
I don’t want one kid playing pro ball while the other can barely catch a ball.
I don’t want one kid CEO of a great company while the other is scraping by in a minimum wage job (not a career they love).
I don’t want one kid to be a genius with a perfect score on the SAT while the other is taking special classes to keep up.
Yes, I want great things for my kids, but selfishly I want them to be equals. Growing up, there was a lot of competition in our house to do great in school, be excellent athletically, to be strong believers, to work hard in our jobs, etc. And I think that made us all good kids who grew up to be solid, hardworking adults, but I think about how hard it was to be compared when I didn’t measure up. (And it wasn’t always that there was comparison from my parents, but I did a lot of internal comparing of my own – to others around me AND with my siblings). In some activities, I’d assume I was a failure before I even started because I knew that either Heidi or Joel were better at this area.
I know that my dreams are not reality. I know that my kids are going to be different. That one might be great in some areas and the other in other areas, but I hope that they become the most supportive brothers who truly love their siblings success.
At this point in life, I am much more excited about my siblings success than I ever was growing up. It was more about me sucking than them being awesome, knowing some areas I wasn’t enough – at least in my mind (hey, you can’t have it all – #gymnastfail). When I think back on how it felt, I hope that my kids feel differently about their strengths and learn to accept that each of them are going to be good in some things and not as good in others. And I know that those weaknesses will be areas that are character-building. I love that my kids will have to work hard on their weaknesses because they are both so strong-willed and competitive that they’ll want success.
I just pray that they embrace their brother no matter what the situation. I want my kids to love each others success. And I know a lot will depends on Dean and I – how we treat them when they succeed and when they fail. Training them to be so proud of each other, no matter what they are doing. It will be part ‘nature’ (how they default react), part ‘nurture’ (how we train them to think)!