Recently I had someone tell me that my child was not the “best” _________. This was not a news flash as I don’t expect my children to be the best. No feelings were hurt. Best is a word that I try to tip toe around.
What I expect is that our children never give up, that they follow through on whatever task, sport, or group that they commit to. He or she should be the best him or her; an individual best, not an overall best. If our children excel at striving for personal perfection while rarely seeing #1 ranking, I’m okay with that. If he goes through life pushing his skills beyond individualized best, but falls in the middle of the pack, I’m okay with that. If our middle E, wins some games and loses some opportunities, yet gains insight on learning life lessons on loss, I’m okay with that.
Yes, I am okay with average. No I am not accepting mediocrity, instead I am challenging our children to continue to strive. Being the best at a task means he or she has solidly beat out all others in that select task. Is that possible? Yes. Will it happen for our children? Perhaps. Most likely and existing in reality is the fact that our children may spend their lifetime striving for that elite status. Falling flat may and will happen. They could be destined for middle of the pack and again, that’s okay.
I am not celebrating the ordinary or the unexceptional. Rather I am teaching and embracing the road to extraordinary if that’s where life heads.
I’m average; build, hearing loss, mother, teacher, friend. It’s okay, really it is. This garden variety, mainstream life is what drives me to try new things, push personal limits, and aim high. My best has not been achieved, I’ll keep striving for the allusive best. It’s there somewhere.