Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spit and Wind

I watched a clip on the Australian Screen website today.    It's from an episode of a TV show called More Winners.  

A little girl wants to be a lawyer.   A male visitor (family friend?) encourages her, and her mother says it's a silly dream.   She scolds the man for encouraging the impossible.

It reminds me of Modern Family.   In the pilot episode, a mother and stepfather have opposing views on how to handle their son's desire to hit on a girl very much out of his league.   The mother is proud of him for being brave, and encourages the behavior.   The stepfather sees it as an embarrassment doomed to end in failure.  Gloria (the mom) shares a Spanish saying which translates as being I'll be the wind in your back; not the spit in your face.  

It's a hard thing to balance really.

I have often felt my parents didn't praise and encourage me enough.    Then I wonder if I'm any better, in that regards, with Jack.   Sometimes I worry that I'm not.

I'm definitely not a Gloria.   I'm not that positive.   I'm very honest.    I can praise, and I do.   But I'm not good at praising when....well, I'm not good at dishonest praising.

I would never tell a person you can't do that, or you'll never be good at so and so.    I think I mix idealism with realism.   You COULD do that, but I'm not sure it's one of your strong points.   I think you'll need to work on it a bit....if that's what you really want to do.   I also do a lot of redirecting.    You know what I think you're really good at.....

Tim made deep dish pizza the other night.   I didn't like it, and I was honest about that.   I don't think he had much hope in me liking it, because I'm not a fan of thick crust.    But I made sure to (HONESTLY) tell him that I loved the thin crust pizza he had also made.   It was really amazingly good.  

I also asked if he had brought some pizza over to my parent's; since he had gone to help my dad with something.   He had.   That was good because they DO like that type of pizza.   They'd be better ones to judge.

I hope I'd never be arrogant to believe that my personal opinion is gospel.

In another episode of Modern Family,   Claire is embarrassed by her husband's upcoming speech.   He thinks he's absolutely hilarious.   She thinks he's not.   She doesn't want him to do the speech, because she thinks he'll humiliate himself.    We don't want to see our loved ones being humiliated.   Sometimes there's that idea that it's better that WE be the spit in their face, rather than a bunch of other people.

Uh...Spoiler alert.   Skip the next paragraph if you don't want to know what happens in the episode.

Phil (the husband) ends up doing the speech, and the audience thinks he IS funny.   Phil doesn't make a fool of himself.   Claire gets to see her husband through their eyes, and she gains some new respect for him.

I guess there's two things I try to remember as a parent.

A) If Jack doesn't seem to have natural talent in something..... if he really wants to do it, he can work hard on it, and learn.   (not including things like learning to cast truly magical spells with a plastic wand or fly with his toy broomstick)  

B) Just because I don't think Jack has talent in something, it doesn't mean he doesn't.   People have varying opinions.   I might think he's mediocre at something, and other people might think he's fantastic.   I might think he's fantastic at something, and other people might think he's awful at it.