Is there such a thing as a cynical optimist? If so, that’s what I am. Or maybe I’m more of a snarky Pollyanna. I don’t know what you call it, but for a mostly upbeat, positive person, I can be kind of crotchety when it comes to a few things.
Things like the stickers people put on the backs of their cars. It’s a miracle that I haven’t eye-rolled my way right into rear-ending a car with a perky stick-figure family on the back. I really could care less what abbreviation of fantastic get-away you last visited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the OBX and HHI, I just don’t need to rub it in everyone’s face that drives behind me. And then there are the kid-related ones – the football helmets, ice skates, and cheer stickers. The ones that let everyone know you spend half your life driving to and from practices and games.
Every so often I’d find myself behind a car that sported what I thought to be the most egotistical of them all: the My Kid’s an Honor Student one. Cue Really Big Eye Roll punctuated by Presumptious Snort. I mean, really … what kind of parent does that?
I’ll tell you what kind of parent does that: this one. The parent who goes to their first parent-teacher conference at middle school and sits across from a beaming child who is so proud of herself she can barely contain it. The parent who sees how important that sticker is when the teacher makes a big deal about earning it. The parent who would never, ever say no when their child asks if they can put it on the car that very evening.
It’s not about me and it’s not about who sees it. It’s about recognizing what’s important to your kids and elevating that above your own pettiness.
I spent a morning last week with some lovely people from Hallmark. People who know how to bring out the best in us, who inspire us to send thoughtful cards and celebrate happy occasions.
Their message to us was to celebrate everyday moments and milestones. The people that make our lives worth living? We need to tell them what they mean to us.
I think I’m pretty good at that. The main reason I blog is to share stories, stories which I hope will tell my kids how much I cherish being their mom. I tell them every day that I love them. I tell them I think they’re the most fantastic people I know.
But sometimes you have to do more than tell them. Sometimes you have to show them. And if that means slapping an annoying sticker on the back of my car? I would do it a hundred times over.
I still draw the line at stick people, though.