Ancient History

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Parental pride is an odd thing. As a mom I have the right to plaster my minivan’s bumper with stickers telling everyone trapped in traffic that my kid is a smarty-pants. I don’t do this and never will because as a general rule I loathe bumper stickers. They tell too much information about the person in front of me, things I don’t need to know, like “Cowboys Do It With Spurs On”.

It should be illegal to plant gory mental pictures in innocent drivers heads. I am trying to concentrate on the road when I am driving. I don’t need to concentrate on suppressing my gag reflex. Keep your spurs to yourself.

Anyway, I find it hard to share good news about my kids’ accomplishments without feeling like I am shamelessly bragging. I worry that other people find it boring, tiresome, and irritating to hear about the latest spectacular feats of genius and cunning displayed around here.

Recently, Aidan’s artwork was included in our school district’s elementary school art show. She created a mixed-media piece that was displayed in a gallery located at a Denver metro area college—not too shabby for a second-grader. My mommy heart was swollen with pride when I heard the good news. It was so swollen that it put pressure on my brain and caused it to have delusions like this:

She will be discovered by an important art teacher/critic/expert as a prodigy.

She will win some sort of “best art by a second grader” award involving a trip for seven to Disneyworld.

She will appear on David Letterman.

Someday, something she creates will make the Sistine Chapel ceiling look like a job for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

I am guilty of getting caught up in the emotions of pride and ego when it comes to the kids, as if I had something to do with their special talents and gifts—I don’t, other than providing the walls on which scribbles are perfected. I can’t help that the scent of crayons exhilerates Aidan. A parent can shove crayons or footballs or clarinets in a kid’s hands, but they can’t shove them into a kid’s heart.

It isn’t the art, in itself, I am proud of. I would be equally proud if she did something special involving sports or volunteering. I guess I am most proud of the fact that she has a passion for something and that she throws her whole self into her projects. I admire that about her. And I don’t mind telling the world.

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