Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can’t

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.

Can’t.

17 comments:

Rachel said...

Do what you love, and love accounting.

It's an old joke but it still haunts me.

rocslinger said...

Here's a first: a positive can't do spirit.

My dad used to tell me that there's no such word as can't, thanks for setting me straight.

just call me jo said...

You are so RIGHT!! There is nothing wrong with facing reality and realizing what we CAN'T do. I'm so with you. I love your examples and the hilarious post. You're the best!! I can't imagine what I did before I started reading your blog!

Christy said...

Definately true!!! And oh, how I wish you (or I) could make Val Kilmer hot again. Thanks for the chuckle this morning... I needed it in the worst way!

Paige said...

Realistic goals, right?

Stefani said...

Bahahahaha! This is beautiful!

Adele said...

Love. It!
I also believe in raising children in reality - don't understand any other way........thanks for the morning chuckle :)

ganelle said...

So many, many things I'm OK with not being able to do. I always thought I was lazy - when really I just needed a new perspective!

Bakeshow said...

Is it the same thing if your poster is of The Enterprise? Cuz I can take that poster down when I move home next month. ;)

Patty Ann said...

Love this subject and laughed! Thank you! My problem is that I always say I can.....and end up doing to many things not as well as I should! I really needed to read this before!!!!

the emily said...

My kid wants to be a train engineer. I tell him that's fine, as long as he has a masters degree first. He can do anything he wants to, as long as he goes to college first. (because by the time he's done with college, he'll want so much more...right??)

thatreallytallgirl said...

I had those very same dreams as a child. First I would be the next Nadia Comanechi, (sp?) then I would be a horse jockey ala Elizabth Taylor-National Velvet! Alas, I grew up to be 5'11"! Bummer dude.

Kelly said...

Funny!

Jill said...

I wish you would have been around at the beginning of Dave's life plan.

Mom of Three said...

Thank you! At least now I don't feel like such a smuck for helping Gem get a reality check on her Hollywood acting career. Can we say kindergarten teacher!!

A'Ese said...

And this is exactly why I'm grateful to the school teacher who wouldn't accept my son's essay about what he was going to do when he grew up, unless he included "Plans B and possibly C". Because most people CAN'T grow up and play professional baseball. Thank you, Miss Miller. He still hopes he can, but at least he realizes the possibility of CAN'T.

Shoebox Princess said...

New reader here! I was pointed to your blog when I mentioned that I wanted to read blogs by moms of teenagers (I was tired of finding only blogs of mothers of young children and I have no more young children). I can tell by this one post that I am gonna like reading your blog! I tell my children the very same thing!