a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
My seventh grader ran in his first track meet yesterday and slammed it! Booyah, my boy is fast! And so is his brother. By the end of the meet, the Fabulous Singer Boys had earned several first- and second-place finishes, and I was proud.
But why should I be? I didn’t do anything. My kids inherited the speed gene from their father; I’m more of a throw my body in front of a booming soccer ball kind of athlete. Still, I can’t take credit whenever Chris, my soccer-playing center defender, shuts down the other team’s forwards, just like his mom used to do. (Maybe as his coach, but not as his mother.)
Perhaps I could take credit for my kids’ wins yesterday because I pick them up from track practice every day. But by that logic, their school bus driver should be proud when they get good grades.
Which makes me wonder: Which part of parenting really matters? Anybody can buy their kids track shoes and cheer for them from the stands. But teaching them grace in victory (in lieu of in-your-face taunting) and in defeat (instead of punching the locker room wall) matters more in the long term. After all, their track prowess isn’t going to land them in college or good jobs or solid relationships some day.
And yet I was more proud that they’d run so well than I was proud of their gentlemanly behavior. I expected them to behave well; I’ve been teaching them that their entire lives. Their superior race times, however, were a lovely surprise. Besides, none of the parents on the stands congratulated me on their manners.
“Hey Jen! Your boys did great today!” they said. And I was proud.
Tell us: Do parents have a right to be proud of their kids?