Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Mommy: Do As I Say, Not As I Do. A Humbling Parenting Moment.

My son was in my belly that year at Pac Bell Park when San Francisco Giants baseball fever was at extraordinary pitch and the revered, the loved, the phenomenal Barry Bonds, the beefy-baseball-god, walked up to the plate and smashed baseball records and smashed the crud out of the mosquito of a ball. And sent it flying, flying over our heads into the bleachers and water…again and again. Eventually for home run number 73 that stands today as the most home runs in a single season.

No doubt my now 11 year old son can STILL feel the shaking of the crowd as we all erupted with joy and fireworks and absolute euphoria that our hero had DONE IT. He’d done it for us! And for the first few years of our son’s life while smacking t-balls in our backyard, the Shrine to Barry was powerful. “Hit it like, Barry Bonds!” “Barry Bonds Slugger!” “Who’s your favorite player: Barry Bonds!!!” Posters lined his walls. Bobble heads. Tshirts. The worship was real.

Now, it’s Lance’s turn. Lance Armstrong, the most famous cyclist in the world. Decorated. Cancer defeater. Tour de France conqueror. Yellow bracelets worn by millions of kids and adults alike in solidarity to Live Strong and beat those odds. You can do it!

And then there’s me. Mom. Mommy. Maker of breakfasts and do-er of laundry. Nurturer. Boo-boo healer. Big, giant hugger. The sun sort of rises and sets on a mommy’s role in our kids’ lives. We don’t hear a crowd, but we know our importance.

So what do we say to our kids when their Barry Bonds gets busted for doping. And denies it. And what do we say to our kids when the walk-on-water Lance gets cornered for cheating. And apparently will soon fess-up to it after years of vehement denial and attacks on the truth. And what do I say to my kids when I let loose a string of horrific, illegal-in-this-house profanities when I whack and possibly dislocate my pinky-toe against the back, left foot of the $#%$!#% couch.

All egregious acts of hero-treason. All self-absorbed speaking out of one side of your mouth: Don’t you ever do it. I would never do it! I don’t do it. I didn’t do it.  Meanwhile, the other side of your mouth is doing the exact, naughty opposite.

As my 7 year old said to me with her wide, big-blue eyes after she (unfortunately) witnessed, hence busted my foul-language, thesaurus-like, mangled pinky-toe tirade: “Why do adults SAY not to do bad things. But then they DO them?” 

And then get away with them.

Good question my sweet little-buddha. For the Do As I Say, Not As I Do mantra is quite funny, but also quite real in this day and age. As a Parent like me or as a World Wide Hero like Barry and Lance.

It’s a humbling moment for us all.

Namaste & Three Cheers -OM


  1. It's a question that's been nagging at me since I peed on that stick. How do we explain to our children that the world is badly, badly flawed -- but we don't want them to be? Is it enough that we just want them to pause before they make the same mistakes we wish we hadn't made? History is full of characters who made the same mistakes as their parents. Or didn't, but made different ones, often just as bad.

    I have a rule: No child is permitted to repeat anything I say while I'm driving. I've tried to say that it's not behavior that I'm proud of, but the rule is a testament to the fact that I haven't conquered it, either. Then again, the fact that it's only while I'm driving means that I've contained the problem, and the effort is as important as the success. That doesn't apply to Bonds or Armstrong, who made bad, across-the-board choices that we definitely don't want our children to admire, but it does help keep Mom from being a total hypocrite. :)

    Hope your toe is feeling better!!

    1. Ha, Cindy, that is a LOL moment for me (and all of us, no doubt!!!) with your driving in the car rules. Hysterical! You should be proud that you have, ahem, contained it to "driving only" and it's something to aspire to for the rest of us. Any tips to figure this one out are vital to share. Keep 'em coming!