A curious, amazing thing happens when you give birth.  Even though your kid comes out looking like a raisin you squished under your shoe, you truly believe you delivered a genetically gifted Abercrombie model of a baby.  He is the next Steve Jobs.  She will become President.  You never think ‘I hope this kid gets a GED and hustles knockoff Birkins in an alley.’

Fast forward 4 years, when your kid is in preschool and brings home a wobbly vertical line on a piece of paper and says “I drew a circle!”  You have 2 choices. 1. Gush over the drawing, deciding that if you squint hard enough at the wobble, it is most definitely ALMOST a circle, shower your babe with kisses and cookies, and hang the ugly line on the fridge. 2. Pray this child erupts out of puberty into Level 5 Hotness so that he can skate through life like a Baywatch lifeguard, put the evidence in the trash under the coffee grounds, and pour the vodka while you picture him working at Arby’s for the next 40 years.

Yes, you think your baby is gifted because she makes a horsey noise whenever you pass a farm, and that her earlobes are so perfectly shaped that surely they were modeled after the baby Jesus himself, and of course she will become a world famous Equestrian Earring Model.  But after 18 years, that praise and feather-fluffing leads to your daughter announcing she will be taking a Gap Year before college to focus on ‘meditation and chakras’ from the comfort of your basement, and all that is left of your dream is a Pinterest board full of polo matches and Harry Winston ear crawlers.  

We all want to believe our kid is The Best, and the Universe in 2017 is like a cheerleader on a bender.  Everyone is great at everything!  You get rewarded for showing up!  The NBA is an illusion – you are ALL basketball stars!  Listen.  I once put my kid in a toddler basketball league, and he spent every game twirling himself around the pole of the basketball hoop like a tiny, drunk Nancy Kerrigan.  What was I supposed to tell him his trophy was for, a well-executed Triple Lutz?   

Universe, I beg you: Stop giving our kid trophies for things they suck at!  Example?  My child certainly didn’t need an award for “Art Show Participation,” when the only thing he had on display was a cluster of scribbles he labeled “THIS DIDN’T WORK.”  If his lack of useless trophies leads to low self-esteem and slinging faux Birkins?  I will be his #1 customer.

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