I have OAD. You’ve never heard of that? “OBSESSIVE ACTIVITIES DISORDER”. I can’t stop. I want to stop, but I can’t stop. It’s kind of like my pumpkin cookie addiction that mimics my past smoking addiction. ..One is just never enough and pretty soon I will be up to a pack and a half a day. It is running our lives. And somehow I have to fit in two jobs, a clean house and a happy husband.
It’s ridiculous really. And my thinking has become twisted to make matters worse. I will spend more hours teaching my daughters how to do a more perfect handstand, but homework takes 10 minutes. Someone needs to seriously do an intervention here. Yes, I choose to do this. I choose to involve my children in not just casual activities, but ones that you have to leave your soul at home, and become an Olympic champion overnight. So then I hate it until they do something awesome, and then I am crying like a maniac around other parents, while they are invisioning “LOSER” across my forehead.
But it’s not just about a backhandspring, or a trophy or score on the soccer field, it’s the drive, the passion, that is involved in meeting these successes. And it can’t just come from my children, a lot of it has to come from me as well to get them to these places each and every day. So it’s pressure. I feel lots of pressure; a huge obligation to not let them down, all the while focusing on not letting down the ones who are left at home in the process.
I see it everywhere. Life becomes nonstop. Things are fine until it hits about Thursday morning, and you feel as though your organs are going to start falling out of your body one by one. But we continue on. Every day, every activity, and it’s worth it when our children smile, until they don’t want to wake up in the morning, and you are having a screaming match over almond milk. Then maybe it’s not worth it…not worth it at all. And just when you think you may slow your roll a bit, success hits, a great achievement, and then that thought goes out the window just like giving up on finding the right anti- wrinkle cream. Must continue on.
I mean, let’s be honest here. Most of us probably aren’t producing Olympic champions although we all want to believe that we are. But if we actually don’t think we are, then we use the fallback excuse of college scholarship. Yea, my parents thought the same of me until I discovered a little thing called boys and halter tops, and a scholarship dream vanished like a bag of peanut M&Ms. So we spend countless hours, tons of money on potentially our own dreams as parents, draining our wallets and forming our ulcers for probably just a lot of medals (if we are lucky). But, just like any addiction, we may see the reality of it, but live in denial. Not to mention we secretly love to be running place to place because it feels like we are really enriching their lives. We forget that they are just as enriched with digging in the dirt for a worm and chopping it in half…at no cost.
But one thing is for sure, acheivements of our children are always worth the heartache to get there. Perhaps it even teaches a little patience and awareness as parents that our children are not always the shining star of talent that we think they are, and being who they truly are is ok too. However, maybe after all of the hours, they will turn to be just that at the end of the day. No one really knows until the curtains go down and the light goes off, and the only thing that we are truly left with is our children learning to be happy with themselves no matter what their talent or success settles into. Maybe in the force of this addiction, we are teaching our kids not to be the best athlete over everyone else, but just simply encouraging them to get up when they fall down, as they will face forever in their lives. And this is a lesson that cannot ever be looked at as a failure, and I may even consider giving up my pumpkin cookies to save a little bit of money towards that goal…(unless they have a little extra icing, then I am not promising anything J )