When You’re Better At Stuff Than Your Kids

It’s hard sometimes being a mama and being, well, better at stuff than your kids. You know? Like, they want to be good at stuff right now, and you don’t want to discourage them, and they say stuff like, “I’m a really good draw-er, right, Mom? As good as you, right?” with their earnest scribbles, and, “I can match my clothes really good, Mom,” with the fuschia socks and the gold shirt and the green plaid skirt, and you can see they’re trying — they’re trying so hard — and they suddenly care about proficiency, and you don’t want to squash that initiative, so you LIE and say stuff back like, “Sure you are,” and, “You’re SO GOOD at that, sweetheart.”

Well, I recently took my oldest on a trip. My oldest who is 17 and a senior in high school and about to abandon me for college, so I’m taking any excuse I can find to force Quality Time upon her.

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We landed at the beach.

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And bless her heart — bless her heart, you guys — but she’s still trying SO HARD on that whole proficiency thing.

The child thinks she’s a dancer.

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She thinks she’s got moves.

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And, ultimately, she wants what I think all of us want, which is to be someday as proficient as our mommies and daddies are at life; that natural comparison of child to parent.

I didn’t want to discourage her, but I also felt like at 17 she’s old enough to understand she’s not good at everything yet, you know? Like at 17, she’s ready for some of life’s harsher truths.

So we did a dance off.

We posed it out.

And, although it’s difficult in some of these to tell us apart, which means she’s almost as proficient as me, if you look closely at Abby (on the left) and me (on the right), you can see she still has some work to do, like in this one:

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And this one:

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And this one:

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In conclusion, Abby has some work to do.

Also, we can pray for her.

With love,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
11 comments
  1. I think it’s better in the long run to be honest with her now. You know, so her hopes don’t get too high just to be dashed later when she finds out she’s not as good a dancer as you 😉

  2. You’d think I’d know by now not to read your posts while eating lunch! I think I just snorted chedder cheese out my nose! Thanks for the LOL moment today.

  3. You’re killin’ me, Smalls!

  4. Oh my gosh, this made me laugh so hard – love your sense of humor! You have a beautiful and talented daughter:)

  5. That is amazing. Well done, Mama. Children need life lessons like this one, to help them get along.

    *dies laughing*

    Thank you for being awesome. 🙂

  6. Beth,
    You just made me start my week on the right foot. Thank you. And, good luck to Abby on perfecting her dance moves! 🙂

  7. Beth, you know I love you and I only want the best for you right? And speaking the truth in love is our responsibility?

    Does she know that she’s fine just how she is? Does she know that if she never quite gets that Jeté quite like yours, if she isn’t called to be a dancer like her momma, she’s okay with you? Because we know it can be hard to have a “perfect and in the spotlight mom” like if your mom is a great opera singer.. don’t make it hard on her, remember, God gives each of us different talents..

    😛

    1. **hangs head in shame**

      I’ll be sure to tell her tonight, Ellie, that I love her even though she’ll never be as good as me at dance. I’m sure we can figure out what her talents are… you know, someday.

  8. I should not have read this with yogurt in my mouth. Luckily it did NOT come out my nose. And to Aunt B, maybe Abby’s photography just isn’t as good as Beth’s, and Beth was really much superior to Abby.

  9. Thank you for the laugh tonight. Just what I needed after a very hard, very sad weekend. *waving from a dark place

  10. I don’t know momma, it looks like you may just need to do some more work too. Just sayin……..

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