I remember when I was 7 and I lost a championship game for my little recreational league. I was devastated. After the game, my mom tried to make me feel better by giving me a little replica Stanley Cup and telling me how proud she was of me for trying. She told me that I did my best and that's all that would ever matter to her. It didn't really help, at least not then. The loneliest feeling in the world when you're a kid is feeling like you disappointed your parents. They say they're not, but c'mon, you are so why wouldn't everybody feel the same way?
The next season, we ended up winning that league. I celebrated and I got my trophy (way better than some Stanley Cup or whatever it's called) and I hugged my mom and she told me basically the same thing, that she was proud of me for trying. It's bullshit when you're a kid: "The hell, Mom. I won. You should be happy that I'm a winner, not happy because I'm happy!" It's kind of a cheat with moms; you try your hardest to make them proud but it doesn't matter because they're one of two people who'll love you no matter what.*
*The other? Spade. Different kind of love, though.
Looking back on it, I guess the important thing is that I had my worst childhood memory and my best childhood memory about 6 months apart and my mom was there for both. And she wasn't just there, she was there in a way that makes all other people feel bad that they had shitty moms. (Sorry, losers!) I know it's awesome that my mom cheers for me and roots for me and is proud of all the shitty little victories in my life. I mean, she's proud of this blog, as embarrassing as it is. I know she looks the other way when I write "Fuck" (whoops, sorry) because she wants me to do whatever I enjoy doing. I'm happy and I know this makes her happy. At least, I know this intellectually, but for that little kid inside me* it'll never be enough.
Even now, I still try to make my mom like me more than she already does. I won a rec league maybe a month and a half ago. I'm an adult now. I have played in bigger and better leagues. But still, I tried to casually drop into a text message that I won my league to my mom. I can't help it; I want her to proud of me, and she was (she said, "Huzzah!" and if it were anyone else I'd think they were being sarcastic). But I keep trying tomake her... prouder. I'll always try to make her prouder.
I hope that's good enough for her.
*No, not me inside that little kid you pervert.**