Friday, December 02, 2005

Window Sticker Mentality

You've seen them. I'm talking about those brag decals on back windows. Parents put a sticker in the rear window of their cars with a football or cheerleader and the name of their kid beneath it. You probably don't hate them. I do.

My sister has them on her car and says they are a way of showing support to her kids. To me, it looks like a way of validating yourself through your kids. These decals seem to say, "I'm an insecure person who needs to feel like I've done something right in my life so I put this sticker on my window to show you that my kids will amount to something, thus making me a worthy user of the precious oxygen in this world being threatened by deforestation, ozone erosion, and perfume sprayers at department stores."

Here's what else some of these stickers say to me:

CHEERLEADER, DRILL TEAM, DANCE - Hey, look at me! I was an outcast in High School that couldn't get a date even if I paid my brother and now I'm either an overweight housewife, self absorbed socialite, or cafeteria lady but my daughter is a hottie and therefore, you may call me "mother-of-hottie!"

FOOTBALL, SOCCER, BASEBALL - I was a jock and my kid will be a jock. That's all there is to it even if it means he warms a bench all year because he knows more about slide rules than sports. And, hey! Where do the rules say you can't do calculus homework in the outfield?

KARATE - Nobody will give my kid a swirly.... ever. Me? No. I never had a swirly. I was born with chronic inner ear infections and I only hyperventilate at the sound of a flushing toilet because the whooshing makes my asthma act up. Really.

Yeah, I know. You disagree. Most people with kids seem to disagree with me on this whole window sticker thing. If kids want to put a sticker on their own car when they get one or a patch on their jacket that says, "I went to State UIL competition singing Les Boheme", "I am a junior olympic wrestling champion" or "my bull sold for $6000 at the state fair" then good for them. It's their accomplishment and I won't flinch when I read it at a red light. I may even honk and give them a thumbs up for not being one of those bleary eyed kids sitting in front of a video game all day.

There's nothing wrong with bragging about your kids and having pride in them. I brag about mine all the time, even talk about them on a blog!

What I'm saying is that it's dysfunctional to take credit for our children's accomplishments, even if we are the ones that pushed them, drove them to practice, paid for their private lessons, reminded/bribed/threatened them to practice, and bought their uniforms, jerseys or pink leotards.

Seriously. Let the kids have the glory. You think Carly Patterson's mother has a sticker on her bumper that says, "my daughter won the olympic gold in 2004"? Nope.

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