Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

A little human

on August 24, 2014


My youngest daughter’s favourite song lately has been Only Human by Christina Perri. She loves to belt it out from the second row in our van whenever Mommy is in charge of the music. There is a line in the song that goes like this…

I’m only human
Just a little human.

I have chuckled at this line before because in my mind, I always thought, “What was the other part? Just a little human, but a lot werewolf?”

But then one day, instead of joining my daughter for an incredibly loud duet, not necessarily enjoyed by all within the near vicinity, I really listened to her. She really is just a little human. A child.

I had always thought the song was about a relationship between a couple, where obviously this woman was not appreciated for who she was, someone who took on the weight of the world in order to keep the peace and maintain the relationship.

But then I realized that the lyrics could easily pertain to the relationship between a parent and a child. One where the parent did not see the pressures placed on their child.

This past week, my family got away for a night away, staying at a hotel. The following morning at the all inclusive breakfast, I saw a child who had a shirt on that somewhat disturbed me. On the front of the shirt was written something to the effect of “You don’t practice to play back up.”

I admit it. I normally root for the underdog. That team, competitor, player whom others just don’t think has what it takes to win first prize. That guy sitting on the bench, ready to play, ready to recite his lines. The back-up.

But there needs to be a back-up. Not everyone can or will win first prize. Not everyone is going to be on the starting lineup, get 100% on every test, meet our every expectation, aspiration and dream.

And you know what? There is nothing wrong with allowing our children to play for fun, learn at a different pace, relax and enjoy their childhood. Maybe even fail at something, experience disappointment.

Now before you automatically slap a slacker parent label on me, realize this. Yes, we do practice to become better. That is how life works. Without hard work and determination, going to the starting block is pointless. And yes, there are children who thrive on being involved in every activity going, pursuing academic endeavours that go beyond the clutches of their classmates, never taking time off. But not every child is like that though.

Do we need our children to be number one all of the time, make every team, win every contest, play every sport, be in every organization, play, band, and so on and so on? No, WE don’t need it, and neither do our children. Expose your children to different activities and hobbies, but know their limits and yours.

With this new school year just around the corner, as a mother and teacher, I want my children and students to be on that starting block, working hard and learning new things. But if it takes a little longer for them to complete the race, that’s ok. They don’t need that added pressure. I want them to know that I am there for them. And if they need a time out or a break from it all, that’s ok too.

Because after all, they’re just a little human.



One response to “A little human

  1. I really like this. Well said. I agree 100%.

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