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The Comparison Game


There was a new mom who told this story: “I shouldn’t have been upset, but I must admit I was. My doctor released me from the hospital only two days after my baby was born because my mother would be here to help me. I had been home only about an hour when the doorbell rang.

Our neighbor’s thirteen-year-old son was standing outside. “Can I see your baby?” What could I say? “Sure, come in.”

As he peered into the crib he sucked in his breath through his teeth. “Wow! Sure looks funny, doesn’t he? All red and wrinkly like an old man. Hey, you!” he said, thrusting a grubby finger into the tiny fist of my brand-new baby. “He sure isn’t very good-looking, is he,” he said cheerfully, blowing a big bubble with the gum he chewed noisily. I choked back the words I wanted to say, and instead said, “Give him time.”

After a few awkward moments, the boy left, and as I closed the door behind him, I turned to see my mother looking at me with a bemused expression. “It’s not easy to take, is it,” she said. “But I’m afraid it’s only the beginning.” “The beginning of what?”

“Of your baby being evaluated by others. People more often than not say what they think. He’ll always be compared to someone else. That’s life in a competitive world.”

The Comparison Game by Mildred Tengbom. http://www.heartlight.org/articles/200205/20020509_comparison.html

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