As a parent I recognize that I may be overly proud of my children and therefore somewhat biased in my opinions of their intelligence. I listen to their words and secretly congratulate myself for a job well done when I see glimpses of their personal genius shine through. Sometimes, this swollen sense of pride and ego gets a reality check resulting in a comic moment that can cause uncontrollable laughter. Such is the case in my most recent reality check.
The kids and I had been out gallivanting through Northwest Arkansas and decided that we had to eat and Maya had to pee. We decided on a small sports bar, don’t laugh yet, my failings as a parent will only become more obvious a this story continues. All kidding aside, it was lunchtime and Maya’s bladder was calling. In that situation, we go wherever we can get the fastest. After taking care of business, we found our seats at a cozy booth near the window. Ethan picked the side that would allow him the best view of the ESPN recap of Basketball’s most current events. Maya and I sat opposite of him. After ordering, Ethan abruptly and very loudly shouted, “Obama” and pointed to the television screen behind me. Without remembering that the television was tuned to ESPN, my false sense of parenting greatness began to cloud my reality vision, almost immediately. I could feel my face flush with pride. I asked Ethan, “Do you know who Barack Obama is?” “He’s the president, Mom,” Ethan recanted with an undeniable tone of superiority. The “Mommy Pride Meter” took another big leap up as my inner dialogue congratulated me. “Well done, he’s only four and a half and he knows that Obama is the president and he can recognize him as well.” As we continued to discuss the topic I caught a glimpse of the television out of the corner of my eye. I quickly turned and asked Ethan to point to the president. He pointed to the screen. Instantly, the needle on the Mommy Pride Meter coiled up, sprung off the meter and popped my delusional over inflated ego. The inner dialogue went crazy laughing uncontrollable at me. I didn’t really know that was even possible.
Finally, feeling a more realistic level of pride I tried to contain the laughter within my head so as not to hurt Ethan’s feelings. I explained to him, that the man that he had identified as the president was in fact Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers. I pointed back to the screen. There he stood, yellow Lakers jersey and all.
I am still proud of him for knowing that Barack Obama is the president. And now he knows, that Dwight Howard is not the president, but a basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, at least temporarily.
The idea of Howard being the president would probably be enough to make Kobe Bryant flee the United States. After all with “King James” and “President Howard” that does not leave much room for “Injured Bryant”. If you are impressed by my sports knowledge, relax, that’s all I’ve got.