the empathy I have for my parents is directly correlated to the amount of years under my belt as a parent…

you just never know until you reach certain ages with your own children what your poor parents must have gone through… and as you are navigating the muddy waters of bringing up your own offspring, it is mixed with feelings of – how on earth did my parents get through this and how did I not know as a child what an idiot I was?

I’ll begin by apologizing to my parents…

I thought I was right when I was younger… I thought I was smarter than you…  I thought your entire job was to ruin my life and that you found a sense of joy in doing so…  I thought that you both laid awake at night thinking of new things to punish me for the next day…  I thought your entire lives revolved around me and your purpose in life was to serve me…

I feel terrible that I was not better at things…  at least you were parenting in a time where you could only truly brag about your children once a year in a Christmas letter…  not after every weekend on Facebook… I’m sure that lessoned the blow of my lack of greatness…

I’ve often wondered what it is like to have the ‘stud kid’ and when you show up with your kid, everyone is like ‘thank goodness you and your awesome child are here to save the day’…  instead, I’m sure it was more of a situation where when you told my gymnastics teacher after the third session that you thought it wasn’t for me, she probably agreed with you and said that she was sure there was something for me out there…

or when you let me play baseball for one spring and then called it quits on that… (I still have the t-shirt from it)… 

I feel like you possibly should have pulled the plug on piano lessons a bit earlier but I guess then I would have been bored with nothing to do after school…

remember that summer where I watched the OJ Simpson trial every day and you were really hopeful that maybe I was going to be a lawyer someday?  turned out I just love watching TV…

it takes a certain determination to raise a sub-par child…  and I am truly grateful for it… anyone can raise the rock-star, top athlete, brainchild, model…  it takes fortitude, courage and resilience to raise a ‘late bloomer’… (I like to say late-bloomer because it sounds hopeful)

this morning I was opening up the mail before the kids got on the bus and low and behold, we received a note from the school in the mail…

school award season is coming up and this is the first time we have received a letter stating that one of our lovely children is going to receive something!

school awards were a bit of a sensitive topic for me growing up…  back in my day, awards were a common practice as parents and teachers didn’t know that they weren’t allowed to single kids out for being awesome… that they are supposed to make everyone feel awesome, even though some might try harder or put more effort in…

my parents were ahead of the game on this matter…  I can remember going to elementary school awards and both of my brothers coming home with more hardware than they could carry (I believe I had to help my older brother carry some of his awards)… I got some stickers on my sheet saying I did pass grade 4…  a few days later my parents gave me a trophy they had made up at a local place that said ‘best daughter’ on it…

I know they are going to tell me I’ve made this memory up…  but I know it happened…  and I was hoping to prove it but our basement flooded 2 years ago and along with the damage to the basement the cardboard boxes of medals, trophies and accomplishments were ruined and tossed out…

by cardboard boxes I mean the farmer had his is about 3 large boxes (along with his baseball card/retirement fund) and mine were in a shoebox…  but I felt it necessary to toss everything and start over…

so, I asked the boys, which of them did something that would warrant a school award? if they were hiding something from me that I didn’t know about… something great… 

my older son said ‘is there an award for being responsible?  I’m really great at that… I bet I’m getting the ‘responsibility award”…   he added to this, ‘it’s probably two awards I’m getting… ‘responsibility’ and ‘smartest’… because I feel like I’m the smartest’

one thing I have learnt about 14 year old boys so far… they are overly-confident, more than slightly delusional and can only hold on to one solid thought for about 4 seconds before they start thinking about food again…

the picture he has in his mind about his behaviour and prowess is a bit different than the picture the teachers were painting of him at the last parent teacher interviews…

‘I have to ask him repeatedly to stop doing summersaults at the back of the classroom’

‘I found him one day hiding in the recycling container when he was supposed to be in class’

‘he gets distracted by shiny objects and often seems to be staring into space’

‘he might need a ‘fidget’ as he bites his pencils and erasers until there is nothing left’

‘has he been tested for anything?’ (I don’t think they were talking about IQ)

so I turned to the younger boy and asked him if he thought it was him getting an award….  (it doesn’t help that this picture of him surfaced on my Facebook memories this morning… maybe I need to take a long, hard look in the mirror as to why it was shocking to me that one of them could be getting an award and think more about the costumes I send them to school in)

he tried to think of what he has done at school that would land him in the winner’s circle…  as far as he could remember, he hadn’t won a poster/poem contest, there was no science fair, he was not in a single school sport, he was pretty sure he’s not the smartest (although with the grading system it is really hard to figure out)…  he concluded he could possibly be winning an award for one of the following things…

… attending ‘WE’ day …

… being on a basketball team that had one tournament which he missed …

… most absent days …

(we are not entirely sure what awards are handed out as we have never been asked to come to the award ceremonies before… so this makes it difficult to ascertain what awards are up for grabs)

the only other thing he could think of was that his class size is so small that perhaps they ran out of people to give awards to and that he’ll get one by default…

all I know, is that whatever the award is for, when they text their grandma telling her, they’ll get this ‘Bitmoji’ congratulating them on being awesome…

(I’m tempted to tell my mom how one comes to get Mardi Gras beads, but maybe she knows and that’s the next Bitmoji I’ll be receiving from her)