07 April 2016

Three Thoughts on Thursday

Hi. My name is Courtney, and I’m a cruise addict. Last month, Michael and I went on a seven day Caribbean cruise through Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Key West. It was GLORIOUS. This was my first cruise experience and to say I loved it would be a huge understatement.

Confession: On the last night during dinner, the ship’s staff did this “bon voyage song/dance” kind of thing and guess who was crying like a little baby because she didn’t want to leave the ship?

I don’t want to get into this too much because I’m currently working on a whole post dedicated to this vacation but y’all. Cruising is the way to go. If you ever have the chance to do a cruise for vacation, DO IT. Every detail is taken care of for you: food, entertainment, transportation, and the staff on these ships are all about 110% customer service. It was amazing. However, since we’ve been back, it’s been hard to get back into the swing of things. I feel like I’m still on island time. Before we left, I was killing my diet with great results and had a ton of motivation most days. Now? Nope. I know normality will settle back in but I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been hard. Going on this trip has really ignited the part of me that has longed to travel for a while now and knowing that there’s this whole big world out there to explore is exciting to me.

This June I turn 40 {whatttttt} and to be honest, it really kind of snuck up on me. I mean, 40? Really? I distinctly remember turning 30 like it was yesterday. I had Maddy at 35 and now 40? Forty is a pretty defining age, in my opinion. That’s half of 80. EIGHTY. It feels like I’ve run through 40 years in the blink of an eye that I can’t imagine the next forty going by so fast, but it will and while it’s easy to wonder where all the time has gone, I choose to embrace it and keep moving. It’s better than the alternative, right? Yes, I’m one year closer to AARP knocking on my door but honestly, I don’t feel 40. In my mind, I feel young but maybe that’s because I still laugh at fart noises and love riding the kid coasters in amusement parks. Having a four year old also does wonders for keeping you young. Tired, but young. Maddy reminds me every day to kick back, remain silly and look at life like a child so let’s do this forty. I ain’t scared!

Why do so many parents dislike the idea of having average children? The other day, I was reading through a few posts on a parenting forum where a conversation had sprung from a parent who was completely delirious and devastated that her child doesn’t seem to have a future as a “gifted” child.

First, WTF. Seriously.

Second, when Maddy was born did I have dreams for her that she would one day be an astronaut, the President or that she would find a cure for cancer? Absolutely. I think we all do as parents. We want to think that our child is the next gift to mankind. But then reality sets in and as they grow, you start to discover their strengths, weaknesses, talents and propensity to certain topics and abilities. You begin to discover your child’s aptitude and in doing so, you realize that those lofty goals and expectations you had in mind for your child are well, just that. Lofty. And they aren’t even your child’s goals or dreams. They’re yours.

But aside from all of this, when did we decide that the only way our children can have a great life is if they are above average? Whatever happened to appreciating average? Maybe my daughter will cure cancer. Maybe she will discover the next solar system. Maybe she’ll be the leader of a great nation or discover the next life-changing invention, thought or idea.

Or maybe she won’t.

Maybe she’ll do decent in school. Maybe she’ll be raised to be a good kid who goes on to have a steady 9 – 5 with a family, a mortgage and a mini-van. Maybe she’ll spend her Saturday mornings fulfilling the role of soccer mom and volunteer for the PTA. Maybe she doesn’t have kids at all and decides to travel the world or go to cosmetology school. She will never make millions but she’ll have a comfortable, peaceful and good life that’s just considered “average.”

And that’s okay.

As long as she’s happy doing what she wants with her life, so be it. Terms like “gifted” and “exceptional” have never impressed me and truth be told, all this pressure we put on our kids to “be the best” is probably why our nation struggles with burnt out and overtaxed teens and kids who hate school and life who ultimately grow into adults who hate life.

So Maddy, when you read this, disregard all these stupid labels and do what makes your heart happy. Your mom and dad will love you and support you no matter what.

What’s been on your mind lately?
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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