Friday, October 15, 2010

Dream Killer

It’s my job as a mom to support my kids in what they want to do. If we have the time and funds available, we’ll let the girls sign up for whatever interests them. The only rule is that they have to stay with the activity for the entire session. We’ve tried swimming, softball, dance, gymnastics, ice skating, violin, Brownies… I’m sure I’ve missed some!

Sugar recently came home with a application to run for Student Council. She said she was interested in it and would need to write a paragraph about why she’d like to be involved. That paragraph had to be delivered as a speech to her class and they would vote the same day. A few things I liked about this process-every kid is *not* a winner. The kids are encouraged to actually make an effort if they want to be on the Student Council. Second, the process is speedy quick. Not like “grown-up” elections where the phones ring incessantly for months prior to voting day.

Our weekend was a whirlwind of busy and the application slipped my mind. I honestly never thought of it again until I cleaned out Sugar’s lunch box on Wednesday night and came across a picture of one of her classmates with “Vote for Me!” on it. I am The Worst Mother in the World. My kid wanted to do something and I failed on all the Proper Mommy Tasks: I didn’t nag her to write the paragraph, practice her speech, I did NOTHING. Sugar will someday be in therapy because her mother failed to force her to chase her dreams!!!

The next morning I told her I had found the picture and that I felt bad. She just shrugged and said she changed her mind about it anyway. PHEW! We chatted about who ran in her class, who won, etc. She shared with me that one girl ran but didn’t get a single vote. Then I remembered why I hated school votes-nothing more than popularity contests. My heart hurt for that little kid. Then a thought occurred to me…

“Um, Sugar, why didn’t M vote for herself?”

Sugar stared back at me with her big brown eyes bugging out of her head… “Honestly Mama, I have no idea.” 

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