My Children are Failures

Woah, hey now! That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?

No, it’s true. I don’t like the fact any more than you do, but it’s the reality of the situation. The Oxford-English Dictionary describes “Failure” as “an unsuccessful person or thing”. The Oxford-English Dictionary describes “Hullabaloo” as “a commotion or a fuss”, but we’re not talking about that. Please try to stay on topic.

They aren’t failures as a whole, or even as a most(I doubt you can say that, but I’m going to say it anyway. Deal with it), but they have failed, and somewhat surprisingly, I’m happy about it.

“Geez, this guy gets more and more insulting by the minute! First he calls his kids “failures”, and now he’s happy about it?! What a dink.”

Hey! I may be a lot of things, but I am no dink.

So what the heck am I talking about? I’m talking about their swimming lessons.

T-man and Chonie-Chaloomba have been taking swimming lessons with the intent that they learn to not drown. Aside from just a good idea, it’s a mitzvah to teach your children to swim. Last night was the final lesson in this level and they were given their report cards at the end. Testicle-toter had most of the boxes checked off for things he needed to be able to do, while Vagina-Monologue had significantly less success. Neither one of them were successful enough to be able to move on.*

They were both surprised that they would have to repeat the class, and I think a little disappointed that they hadn’t passed. The feeling of disappointment passed quickly enough, though.

Why am I glad they failed the class? Ah, a good question. I’m glad because they clearly weren’t comfortable enough with what was being asked of them, and in this day and age of just pushing kids through the system in an attempt to avoid hurting their feelings, I feel it’s more important that they become proficient swimmers than have intact feelings(not that their feelings aren’t valid, or that they should be deliberately hurt. Consider it a life lesson). A false sense of accomplishment isn’t going to save them if they end up in water over their heads.

The positive side of this class was that both of them made incredible strides in learning to swim. To see the normally frightened and timid Saarah swimming unassisted was enough to almost bring tears to my eyes. To hear Tevye tell me how proud he was of his accomplishments in the pool was phenomenal.

As I recall from 476 years ago when I was in swimming lessons, most people had to repeat at least one class, and I think this particular level was one of the most difficult. There’s quite a lot more expected of the kids than the last class, and I can’t imagine it being easy.

They may have failed this level, but I couldn’t be prouder of them.

*I’ve never referred to my children as such before, but I may have to do it again, though not to their faces.

One Response to “My Children are Failures”
  1. As a teenager and as I have a mom, she probably thought I was a failure at some point. However, it’s what you do with that failure is what counts. So my point is? It’s a good thing they failed but until they quit, they are not failures. Thanks for the reminder.

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