Here’s Your Sign

(archived from Nov. 6, 2012)

Remember the “Baby on Board” signs everybody used to hang in their cars? And the bumper stickers with “my child is an honor student”? We all want the world to know about our kids. They are, after all, the brightest, the most talented, the best looking kids around!

Recently I’ve noticed the trend to put a sign in front of your house.  No, the house isn’t for sale, we just want everyone driving by to know that our kid is in the high school band, or a cheerleader, or whatever.  I must admit, as a mom, I’d love to advertise my kids in the front yard too, but as a mom of 5… well, how many signs does it take to become overkill?!

Last night we were at the high school basketball season kick-off. Our oldest son is a senior and plays on the varsity team.  When I arrived (direct from another son’s football game), my husband handed me the list of spirit items he wanted to buy.  You guessed it, the yard sign topped his list.  I had to say “no”. This is one of those blended family tricky moments.  I had to think to myself, if it were one of my babies, would I buy the sign?  As much as I’d want to, the answer is “no”.  First of all, it’s $20 that we really don’t have to spare this week.  And if we then have to buy one for each kid we’re up to $100.  Plus, all 5 of our kids go to different schools.  Do the neighbors really need to know that?  Why do we want strangers to keep track of what team our kids play on?  Are we jeopardizing their safety to feed our egos?

These are the types of questions any parents should ask themselves, but especially in a blend, where keeping things fair and not playing favorites can prevent family warfare.

So whether it’s the yard sign, the window decal, or the old-school bumper sticker… Before you buy it, take a breath, think it over. You can always buy it tomorrow if you still think it’s a good idea.

And one more thing, whether or not you buy the sign, tell your kids and step-kids that you’re proud of them and all their accomplishments, big and small. Your love and support will last them a lifetime.

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