Boy Wonder came up to me about a week ago and he said, "Mom, I'm sorry that I'm not the perfect kid that you wanted."
I was taken aback by this. He was clearly in tears and upset by something that got him to this place. I gave him a big hug and let him wipe his eyes into my shoulder.
I replied, "I don't want a perfect kid. I want you to be you."
"But I screw things up."
"We ALL do, honey. That's what makes us human."
"But I want to know everything and be good at everything."
"That's a big goal, pal. And say if you know all and are good at everything, would you want to keep trying new things or would you sit there and be good at everything?"
"Well, I wouldn't have to worry about screwing up anymore."
"That's true, but where would your sense of adventure be? Where would your awesome curious questions come from? Not from being perfect, because you'd already KNOW them all. "
"So...you want me to make mistakes?"
"Yes, they help you learn things, when you learn things you grow, and growing might have you practice that thing even more, and then you can become an expert if you want."
"But I want to be perfect at everything all the time."
"Nobody can be, pal, not ever. People try, but I find it makes them very unhappy."
"I don't want to be unhappy, Mom."
"And I don't want you to be either, honey. Let's celebrate our imperfectness by having some frozen yogurt."
"Huzzah! Thanks, Mom. I heart your face."
"I heart YOUR face!"