Aug 9, 2012

Oh, How Things Change...

The last time the summer Olympics were on, I was, coincidentally, pregnant with LP.  And while I remember lying in bed next to Paul watching the swimming competitions, talking about how maybe our kid would be in the Olympics one day, I was mostly focused on one thing:  MUSCLES.  Specifically, the six-packs (and eight-packs) on some of those swimmers.  I even blogged about my obsession.  

And yes, I can't lie, I've certainly enjoyed the view this time as well...  I mean, really, I'm not dead, and there were abs all over the place...

But this time around, I've been watching the summer Olympics through new eyes.  This time around, with another baby kicking me from the inside, and LP on the outside watching with us, I'm watching as a parent.  And the parts I love the most?  When they show mom and dad, brother and sister, friends and relatives in the stands cheering on their kids.  I love seeing the different ways that the parents watch- some yelling and screaming and barely able to control themselves, some with their hands over their eyes because they just can't look, some holding their breath.... (Pretty sure I'd have my hands over my eyes....)

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The one thing I'm sure they almost all have in common, besides that their child is in the Olympics, is that they probably never really imagined this happening when their baby was still just a baby.   I mean sure, everyone jokes about their kid being a superstar athlete, or President of the United States, or curing cancer, but in reality everyone knows that the chances are pretty slim.  

And yet there those parents sit, with children winning Olympic medals, or not winning as the case may be, but still AT the Olympics.  Qualified to compete IN THE OLYMPICS.  It's pretty mindblowing.

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I felt the same way when I watched Kate Middleton marry Prince William.  Five years ago I would have watched it thinking how lucky she was to be marrying a real prince, how she gets to live in a real-life castle, how her dress was so stunning.  But on the actual day of their wedding, while I did think of all of those things, my main focus was that her parents probably never imagined in a thousand years that their little girl, their princess, would become a real life Princess with a Capital P.  Craziness.   I can't even being to imagine it.

As parents we all have dreams for our children- dreams of who they will be, what they will do, how they will behave (perfectly, always, of course!), the kinds of men and women they will grow into, the grandchildren they'll provide us with.... And some of the dreams are big (Paul dreams of LP being a major league baseball player- a lefty pitcher), and some dreams are little (I dream that LP will be tall like his daddy), but all of the dreams are, at this point, just dreams.  

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All we can do as parents is to guide our children to live THEIR dreams.  So yes, while Paul would prefer that LP doesn't become a gymnastics superstar (mainly because they're all short in stature), and I'd prefer that he doesn't decide to get involved in platform diving (because hello!?! Have you seen how close those divers come to wacking their heads on the platform sometimes???), if LP decides that his dream is to do gymnastics or diving or something that might not be on our own list of dreams, we'll support him and encourage him.  That's our job.  We can yell and cheer, or cover our eyes and hold our breath, as long as we're there supporting and encouraging and letting our children follow their hearts and their dreams....

Easier said then done, I'm sure, but hopefully we'll be able to practice what we preach.... 

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