My mom never really sang my virtues. No positive traits here. I remember when I ran for all-school treasurer for my senior year in high school. I was sitting on the floor, making posters, when my mom looked at me sadly, and said,
“Vickie, you sure are making a lot of posters………I don’t want you to get your hopes up….. You are probably not going to win.”
You have no idea how that statement pissed me off. I decided to try even harder. I had a couple guy friends even put my posters in the boy’s bathroom for me. Then I put them in every stall in every bathroom.
While you’re sitting here in this stall
Think about voting for Mendenhall
My name had great rhyming potential. I made up little posters out of copy paper and huge ones for the main halls. In the Music room:
Just a little “note”- Vote for Mendenhall
I did this all over the place. A message in the Spanish class, which was also my homeroom. I was a creative little shit, where others just had the generic, “vote for…” posters. And I won. Even had a full size picture in the yearbook of the class officers. Mom did congratulate me when I told her.
“I won, Mom.”
“You did? What a wonderful surprise! Congratulations!”
Wonderful SURPRISE. She always had to add something that stung me like a bee. And she is the one who always told me:
Sticks and stones
may break my bones
but words will never hurt me
Fast forward many years. I have two wonderful children. We lived two hours away from my mom. So, of course, if you have good news, you would naturally call your loved ones to tell them. So, I would call my mom.
“Mom, the kids both won the county social studies fair and get to compete at the state level.” I was excited. Adam did his on Prohibition and gangsters and Alex did her project on Bigfoot. They were in middle school, a year apart. My mom thought that was great. When Adam won first place at the state level and Alex won honorable mention, I called her again.
“That’s great….. You know, you three kids did a lot of great things in school too…… I just never believed in bragging.”
I was pissed.
“Well, Mom, if informing you about what great things your grandchildren are doing in school is bragging, then I’m bragging. I’m very proud of them. And why the hell would I need to “brag” to my mother?…..I have to go.” And I hung up the phone.
Bragging. I had to think for a moment. Do I brag on my kids? Bragging. I remember looking it up in the dictionary, just like I did again right now. “To assert or talk boastfully” “in an arrogant manner…”
I guess for some, there is a fine line between being proud of accomplishments and bragging. I’m a proud mom. I think bragging is more about arrogance and a “Here’s another way I am better than you.” But to be proud and want to share that with others? I don’t think that is bragging.
Both my kids are very modest. Very humble. I remember when Alex won for Prom Queen. She told me with a sigh. I congratulated her with a “You are beautiful on the inside and on the outside. What a wonderful compliment! I’m so very proud of you.”
I didn’t call my mom.
Well, when we went shopping for a prom dress, I was just giddy. My daughter was prom queen. But, before we went into the first store, Alex looked at me and said, “Do NOT tell anyone that I am Prom Queen.” Well, stick a pin in my balloon. I did anyway, when she would be in the dressing room. “She’s prom queen at her high school.” Well, I can be proud. I wasn’t bragging. Right?
Now, as my children are in their mid-twenties, I am so very proud of them. Alex doesn’t want me to talk about her on facebook. Well, hell. She’s a humble little duck.
So, that made me think. Since I never really got stroked when I was little, am I over compensating with my own children? Did I brag too much? I surely hope not. Pride cometh before the fall and all.
Proud as one of these
You know, we were raised to be proud. Proud of our home. Proud of our children. Proud of our country. Proud of ourselves. If you think someone is bragging, then maybe the person talking is an idiot to begin with. I know mothers who go on and on about how smart their kid is. Hello. Parents are supposed to be proud of their kids. Proud of their first steps. Proud that they pooped in a real toilet or are wearing big boy pants. Proud that they got their first A and hang it on the refrigerator. Those are proud parents. Braggers talk like this:
“My Joey said his first word when he was two months old. He is going to be sooo smart. Your kid isn’t talking yet, right? And he is ten? Wow, Joey is really going to be smart.”
Now, that is bragging.
When Adam was a baby, and learnining to talk, I did something to piss my mom off. You know how parents always show their baby off? I call it, “Show me.” Show me your eye. Show me your nose. etc. etc. All parents do this. Don’t tell me you didn’t. Well, when they start verbalizing, parents then play, “Tell me.” Parent: “What is this?” Kidlet: “Nose.” Kids were now verbalizing their body parts. Well, I took it one step further and taught Adam where his clavicle was. “What’s this, Adam?” “Clav i cle.” And then I cracked up. I was basically making fun of the whole process, but my mom wasn’t amused. I didn’t want her to be amused. I wanted her to say something. I gave her my “Go ahead, make my day” look. She didn’t open her mouth.
In the end, I think mom’s need a “brag pass.” We should be allowed to brag if that is what you want to call it. I call it pride. Sure, some mom’s are idiots. But, they were idiots before they were moms.
So, the next time your child signs up to run for office or tries out for cheerleader, and you secretly don’t think they have a snowball in hell kind of chance, lie. If you can’t lie, then confuse them. I have a great line, stolen from the Hunger Games:
May the odds be ever in your favor