Tuesday, August 16, 2005

here's something unusual

Lileks doesn't usually piss me off. You know, when I grow up professionally, I want to have a Lilekian career. Time and talent are all that keep me from reaching such Lilekian heights, even now. (heh)

Today, though, I have to say it: James, get a grip.

He had one of "those" mornings, getting Gnat to camp. Money quote:

[T]his was still going to be her first day of this week’s camp, and she was the last one there, all the other kids already had the special shirt, and her lunch came in a plastic bag from a gas station.

Worst. Dad. Ever.

First off, let me say that I understand that hyperbole and exaggeration are essential tools in the Lileks arsenal, and I know he doesn't really think he's the worst dad, ever. But I have a really hard time believing that he was so short on material that the best he could come up with was to spin an "almost late for camp, had to make do with Lunchables" anecdote into something that makes him "Worst. Dad. Ever."

Obviously he doesn't get it. (There's something I never thought I'd say.) The things that make you the worst parent ever are the times when you realize you are completely helpless to fix whatever is broken inside your kid: heart, hope, faith. The things that make you the worst parent ever are squishing their little joys because you're tired and in pain. The things that make you the worst parent, ever are the things that take you away from them, or limit their lives in ways you never imagined would happen. When they don't have friends because they're stuck in the house all the time because you're too sick to take them anywhere, or when they're no good at sports because they don't get any practice because, well, you can't stand up for that long -- these are the type of things that add up to Worst. Parent. Ever.

I'm not even going near the topic of truly evil parents -- I'm talking here about the parents who try, really try, but sometimes fail and so get that Worst. Ever. feeling -- but being almost late to camp? Lunchables? No way do those things come close to qualifying.


Dr. Charles said...

good points - worst ever from your perspective includes that sense of guilt and self-loathing. seems we repeat many of our parents' mistakes. lunchables don't count agreed!

Sheik Yerbootie said...

Interesting - you and I had the same take.