I’d be against trophies if only I had the guts
Prowess? What prowess, beyond showing up Saturday mornings after I dynamite his fanny out of bed?
The shrine's not debatable, though. Big Guy hasn't reached his second anniversary in "organized" sports - a loose term at his age - but he has three trophies.
The most recent, from the just-ended tee ball season, is a disaster waiting to happen. The fragile tee is doomed for destruction in a matter of days, particularly since Boots covets it the most. "It was more gold! I want that one!"
See? The 3-year-old is polluted and he hasn't even started to play.
And why not hand him a trophy as well - he did almost as much to earn one as Big Guy did. He showed up at every practice and would have contributed had Mean Mom not pulled him back to the sidelines. He went to every game and probably expended more mental and physical energy trying to get to the field as Big Guy used while actually playing.
"I want a trophy!" he wailed Saturday. "I want a trophy!"
What the heck do I say? That he didn't do anything to earn one? Neither did Big Guy but people keep handing them to him anyway as long as Dad and I keep handing over the $7.50.
Call me an esteem-destroying party-pooper, but I make sure Big Guy knows he didn't earn it. There's been ample chance recently, after he did indeed earn a yellow belt, to reinforce that notion. "This isn't like soccer, where everyone got a trophy," I told him.
Still, I don't have strong objections to trophies on principle. A gaudy bauble is not going to create a child who grows up to crave praise and recognition. Not if parents stress the way life really is - or the way it should be.
My objection is on practical grounds. I have enough clutter to dust without shelling out money so Big Guy can bring home more. More for the guys to fight over, too.
But none of my objections is strong enough to stop the shrine from growing. I'm not wild about the trophies, but neither am I going to stomp up and down and ruin what should be a happy memory for my son by labeling him "Kid Who Didn't Get a Trophy Because His Mom's a Freak."
I'll save my freakishness for principles that matter. Meanwhile, I'll keep dusting the shrine.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.