Why are we so afraid to admit to our kids that life ain’t no fairytale? Yes, I know how to speak proper English, but ya know what?
I ain’t in a proper English kind of mood tonight, you know?
I am serious here though.
How many little girls still grow up thinking that their knight in shining armor is gonna show up on their doorstep one day, and they will live happily ever after?
Did we bother telling them that An Officer and a Gentleman was just a dang movie and that life just usually doesn’t go that way?
Do they know how to find happiness inside themselves with or without a man? Did we teach them that relationships aren’t sprinkled in fairy dust and that they have to work at a good marriage?
Do we tell our boys that they might not grow up to be NFL football stars and that just maybe they should have an alternative ready? Did we warn them that not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice?
Do they know that the star player of the basketball team doesn’t always make the basket at the critical moment? That sometimes they are gonna miss the shot? Do we remind them that the baseball player with the record for the most home runs is often the same player with the record for the most strikeouts?
Do they know that sometimes bad things happen to good people?
Even as we teach them about knights in shining armor, fairy dust, and happily ever after, we need to teach them about the bumpy road that gets there. Just about anything worth having will take hard work. And it takes knowing how to respond to disappointments.
As we prepare them for the joy of successes, we must teach them that failure is not only okay, it is to be expected and that a big part of success is learning how to respond when we fail.
I want to teach my daughter how to live the serenity prayer, to accept the things she cannot change, to have the courage to change the things she can, and to have the wisdom to know the difference.
I am not talking about keeping our kids from dreaming big dreams, and believing that they can do anything they really set their minds to. I am talking about teaching them the realities of achieving those dreams.