At least I’m not one of them

For twenty-two years, I’ve doubted my value as a parent. I’ve questioned every decision, worried about my children’s ability to make it through the cruel world of K-12, beat myself up over every mistake. But hindsight is 20/20, and, at this point, I can confidently say, at least I’m not one of them. You know who I’m talking about, the parents that:

  • Leave the restaurant without cleaning up after their kids, oblivious to the globs of ketchup oozing down the chairs, the thirty-eight soggy, half-eaten fries strewn all over the carpet, the melted, hamburger-laced milkshake residue curdling under the table. “That’s what the waiters are paid to do.”
  • Hurl epithets at the umpire after little Zachary strikes out swinging for the fourth time, then demand Zachary’s coach move him up higher in the batting order.
  • Blame the teacher when their child gets into trouble at school. “She was provoked.” “My son would never hit anyone.” “The teacher is obviously threatened by how smart she is.”
  • Tell every parent he runs into at parent-teacher conferences how well the kids are doing, how many scholarships they’ve received so far from Division I programs, how much of a struggle it is for his daughter to write the valedictorian address.
  • Ask you if your child also rides the bus for the Gifted and Talented Program.

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