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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What They Need to Hear


My friend’s daughter, 16, had two amazing opportunities for her junior summer. The first was a sure thing; she had the acceptance letter in hand. The second was something of a long shot.

About a week before the long-awaited envelope was due to arrive, my friend took up MomSpeak.
“Well, if you don’t get it, at least you have” that other thing.

Daughter blinked and sighed. “Mom, I hate it when you do that.”

Hm? What’s that?

After 16 years of putting on bandages and consoling our kids when they come in second, we learn that’s not a good thing?!

It’s a hard habit to break, and I’m not sure I can stop.

Well, Daughter got into that second cool summer program, as we all knew in our heart of hearts she would. And Mom breathed easier and put aside the “picking up the pieces” speech for the next time. For inevitably there will be a next time.

So I’m thinking about all the MomSpeak, the verbal bandages, we apply. We’re good at it and we’ve got a ready arsenal.

Winston Churchill stuttered. Thomas Edison was a late talker. Douglas Adams got 144 rejection letters before “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” was accepted by a publisher. Does anyone know of a millionaire who bombed the SAT?

It’s not like we’re telling out-right lies, like “what boys really like in a girl is a sense of humor” or “that little zit is hardly noticeable at all,” or “he didn’t answer your text because he fainted dead away when he got it.”

Okay, well, sometimes we do that, too.

My kid just found out two of her all-time favorite rock-star teachers resigned, before she could take more classes with them. She’s crushed. Know what I said? “Well, honey, after having you in class they knew it was downhill from here!”

Contributed by Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine.
Photo Source: Life Along the Road

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