Friday was a big day Chez O.
Now, I'm not one of those types who brags about their childen's every accomplishment on Facebook. Ugh. Every once in a while a photo, or a shout out, but you just don't want to be that guy. Nobody wants to hear that much about my kids. The occasional update, a few photos from vacation, a significant award, have at it! But I was friends with someone on Facebook who not only posted every single one of her kid's accomplishments, but also scanned in a picture of her kid's report card and posted it. Her kid was in 9th grade. Really? As a result, I had to do what no one wants to do.
I had to hide her. Oh, you thought I was going to de-friend her? No way. Too public. Too obvious. The hide feature is the genius invention of a crazy passive-aggressive code writer. Also probably an introvert. And to him/her, I can only say thank you. You let me avoid people who have no FB filter. You permit me to gently and lovingly get away from the every-ten-minute posters (Just loaded the laundry! In another meeting!). And, you let me dislike people without their knowing about it. What a relief. I'm sure there are plenty people out there who don't like me - I just don't have to know about it. How great is that? AND I can not like them, too, without any ugly repercussions.
So, since I don't want to be one of those people, I'm not going to brag about my kids on Facebook. I'm going to brag about them here! Yay! S. came in first in 100m hurdles, 2nd in 100m dash, and 5th in the long jump last Friday. Placing in 3 out of 4 events is really, really great, and we're very proud of her. The very same day, G. and her partner won the varsity A division doubles. Way to go, G.! Not bad for a days work, if I do say so myself.
Oh, wait. Yes, I know that I didn't actually do anything other than make breakfast. But let's be honest. The only reason anyone has children is so that they can live vicariously through them. Otherwise, what's the point of the diapers and the messes and the whining and the eye rolling and the trips to Walgreens at eleven o'clock at night for the posterboard for the science project that you have known about for three weeks but didn't start until tonight?
My kids have no choice but to be successful in sports. They have to because I was not. It is their job to atone for my sins. Both girls run - G excelled at distance, while S. is a sprinter. In high school, I ran the 800m, otherwise known as "where fat girls go to die." I did so only under penalty of I can't remember what, and I didn't do it well. At all. Most of my memories of that event involve wheezing, gasping and chafing. Not much else.
At our weekly neighborhood drink-beer-in-the-driveway session, while bragging about my kids (with only a passing nod to the irony), I commented to my friend, S, that it is a little sad that I am living vicariously through my children. She said, "everyone does." Coming from S., that's saying something. She is one of the coolest, funniest, most laid back people I know. She's had three kids at the high school and has never had to call the principal or the coach or the counselor. She lets her kids deal with their own stuff. She never yells from the sidelines, never complains about her child's performance. Yet she's yearning, too, for what she could have done.
And that made me feel a lot better. Yes, I want them to do well; in large part, I think, because I have a lot of regrets about things I could have done better. And because I know now the satisfaction of working really hard for something and seeing success at the end. I know how easy it is to quit or give up, how hard it is to keep going, and how much dignity there is in perseverance.
Oh, yeah. And it also feels awesome to win. There's just no getting around it.
Go get 'em, tiger.