Friday, September 20, 2013

Medals of Contention

Every parent knows how it is, we sweat blood and tears over something on the home front and no one even notices.

After I saw that this week's Finish The Sentence Friday, "I deserve a medal for the time...." I thought long and hard about the topic. Do we deserve awards for doing what should our jobs as parents? If do deserve medals, what do we deserve them for? Personally as I kid I never got the achievement trophies for everything, though I got a lot of attagirls for good work ethic and sportsmanship.

Here are some of the things I have been told by others that  I deserve a medal for:

I deserve a medal for: coaching my son through sophomore English. It was a teacher conflict. She felt they were ready for a college level English course and they were 15. We spent hours every night working through his homework, but we survived, with a little tears and swearing. (Its a shame tear (as in crying) and swear don't rhyme, cause oh the poems a mom could write,) He went from an F to a B in less than a semester.

I deserve a medal for teaching my kids to take the city and between cities.  Also I taught my kids to travel light in a budget. "Everything in a backpack" I'd say,"we're not paying extra to check baggage, nor are we fighting with a bunch of bags when we change buses."  And to amuse themselves during long layovers in bus depots.  And to never waste a visit to a town without checking the local, however quirky, historical landmarks.  One of my kids will probably get a "Go Greyhound" tattoo some day.  But if they ever have to live in a really big city where no one uses their car unless they are going out of town, they will thank me.

I deserve a medal for 20plus years answering 911 calls, Now admittedly I haven't gone completely unrecognized in this area, but my co workers deserve that medal too. And all the other 911 operators.

I deserve a medal for all the time spent sitting in scout meetings, not for dealing with kids but parents. And all those arts and crafts projects that the decidedly not artsy and crafty Meg came up with for the kids.

I deserve a medal for putting up with a legendary parade of animals through our house: fish, dogs, cats. birds, spiders, snakes (and the mice to feed them), geckos, turtles (to be fair the turtles were all mine, except one) iguanas and so on.

I deserve a medal for the hundreds of hours spent sitting in the dance studio, and on bleachers at ball games. (But why? I had fun.)

But you know what? I don't feel like I deserve a medal. To me these are all things a parent does. accommodating their family to the best of their abilities and the limits of their budget.(Though I freely admit that not everyone has my comfort level with the spiders and snakes so maybe something small and tasteful would be in order there. )

I guess part of my reluctance is that medals signal the end of the event and I am still a long way from there, even after the younger one ships to college in 4 more years.

And medals, to me, are for superlatives. People who go above and beyond.
I know moms who deserve medals. They deal with an assortment of family crisis, sick and special needs children, untimely deaths, true poverty, and keep on dealing.   Compared to them, getting through the normal wear and tear of family life seems simple.

But I'll take that sportsmanship trophy. That I deserve.

This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday, a group of blogger all posting on the same topic. To how other writers finished this week's sentence, click here.


  1. I love you take on this and totally like you deserve that sportmanship trophy for all that and more. Thanks for sharing and linking up with us again this week!!

    1. Thanks Janine, I like to take differant viewpoints on things when I can.