One of the ways I try to be a good parent is by telling my kids from the get go that you can’t (CAN’T) be anything you want to be, even if you put your mind to it. It’s my special way of giving back to the community, to raise children with realistic expectations and a firm grasp of how the world really works. For instance, my daughter (bless her heart) took gymnastics for four years. Four years at $100/month equals about five thousand dollars, which ended up buying me a few cartwheels and some trampoline time. Gymnastics is simply not what my daughter’s body was built for. Hello, her father is 6’3” and her mother is 5’10”. While we’re at it, we should probably also rule out my children’s future as horse jockeys. My husband also wanted to marry rich – we don’t always get what we want. (Consolation prize: I have a blog that creates zero revenue but hundreds of people now know him for the stud that he is. Bonus! See honey? Money isn’t everything.)
I think it’s also important to tell my kids that they’re probably not always going to be passionate about their work. Get a job that doesn’t completely kill your spirit but still pays the bills. Want to be a circus performer? Get a degree in Accounting. You can balance budgets during the week and the tightrope on the weekends. Everybody wins.
If there’s anything I’m confident about, it’s how many things I can’t do. I can’t make the Bobby’s at Buckingham Palace smile, I can’t make Val Kilmer hot again, I can’t make Hugh love me, and hard as I try (Ooohh, how I’ve tried), I can’t turn tofu into chocolate. I will never be a beauty queen, bear another child, drive along the Pacific Coast Highway holding Cary Grant’s hand, or help David Hasselhoff get sober. Can’t. Not to mention, despite numerous requests and encouraging shouts from my new personal trainer this week, I can’t do a push-up. Only one free session left, and I can’t make her go away. I can’t wait for it to be over, and I can’t imagine how ridiculous I look to other gym-goers grunting in the corner with sweat dripping down my temples as I try to suck in my gut to complete “The Bridge”. As you can see, it’s important to share the “I Can’t” message with our children. Otherwise, can you imagine? Drew would be 32 and living in my basement, staring at a poster of Yoda moaning, “Why haven’t you come for me?” while Samantha turns cartwheels across the floor. And I can’t have that.