We are women. We compare. Everything.
And it only gets worse when we become mothers.
We pretend it doesn't, but oh-does-it-ever.
We've all heard the advice from pediatricians, counselors, friends, relatives, websites, teachers: "All children are different and develop differently at different rates. They have different strengths and weaknesses."
But we let that advice go in one ear and out the other. We see the
freak show one-year-old prodigy on Oprah - a mere baby who can name and locate all 50 states and capitals while balancing Tiffany china spinning on her head.
Admit it. You DVRed it and had it ready to play for your husband when he got home. And then you rushed out to the bookstore and bought a mural-sized map of the United States so that you could immediately start teaching your lil' smartypants a wealth of good for nothing knowledge. Seriously, when's the last time you referenced the location of Cheyenne, Wyoming? (My deepest apologies if I offended all seventeen people living in the Western frontier.)
So why do we do it? Why do we compare?
I'm terribly guilty of it. There is a little girl at our church who is two weeks older than my son. She can sign and sing and dance and speak and skip - on command. My son can grunt. And grunt some more. I'm learning that "uh" means more and "eh" means more, please. So technically my child can communicate quite well, thank you very much, but dang it's hard not to speed dial the pediatrician for reassurance that my son is not actually a caveman (my son's ped has the number three speed dial slot, second to my son's shrink and stylist - you know, just in case the little dude is having a bad day and needs to reconnect with his happy place or look good to boost his confidence).
Honestly, I wish I could bottle up my son's innocence. If he could talk, he would absolutely tell you that he wants to be a garbage man when he grows up. My son is fascinated by trucks. Every Wednesday morning we stand outside waiting for the garbage truck to come, and when it finally does, my son is captivated. I can see it in his eyes, "Holy moly, flinging trash in a giant abyss behind the back of a humongous truck is COOL!"
But at some point my backward influence and society's flesh-eating ways taint him and he begins to believe that it's not cool.
But does it really matter if my son is a garbage man? To whom? Not to God. I've looked. The Bible doesn't say a darn thing about job rankings or salary scales. God doesn't care if your child makes a dollar or one hundred thousand. All He cares about is intent. Is he/she glorifying God as he flings garbage or performs a heart transplant?
So in an attempt to teach my son that he really can be ANYTHING he wants to be when he grows up, regardless of status, prestige, or fame (and regardless of what the little church girl grows up to be), I'll have to start renaming these photos in his baby book.
Chris Spielman in training - Watch out, Michigan!
My future scholarly professor
The next Dog Whisperer
Ty Pennington, here he comes!
Michael Phelps in training (God, I hope not!)
My future economist (hopefully not in this economy!)
A mini Larry Byrd
On his way to win the Kentucky Derby
Because worst case scenario is really best case scenario. My son doesn't amount to one of these, rather he turns out perfectly handsome, respectable, mannerly, and God-fearing, just like his Daddy.