Tagged with "childhood"
11 Aug
2016
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For the Love of Olympics

Barcelona 1992. That was when my passion for all things Summer Olympics began. I watched everything I could in those pre-Internet days and stood in the grocery store reading magazine article after magazine article devouring every athlete profile tidbit I could. Gail Devers, Jennifer Capriati, Derek Redman and the basketball Dream Team were brought up in conversation as if they were friends of the family. Not much has changed in 22 years. My passion for the Olympics runs deep, and I’ve instilled that love in my children.

While my love for the games is strong, the reasons behind it have shifted over the decades. That high school kid dreamed of what it would be like to be those athletes. The possibilities seemed endless if I had the drive and the opportunities. The married mother of four I am now, no longer wonders what it would be like to be the athlete. I want to text those nervous parents in the stands watching their babies leave it all on the court, mat, track and pool.

Behind every person who is passionate and successful about something, there is at least one other person emotionally invested in that passion. I see those parents, grandparents and coaches watching those Olympic athletes and see the hours spent in cars and hotel rooms. I see the effort put into stretching a tight budget to give children opportunities. I see the siblings who have been to countless meets and games. Those athletes are my children for two weeks every four years. I rejoice with them and think of words to heal their shattered hearts when the medal isn’t theirs.

girl drawing a picture for Michael Phelps

Families losing their minds as they celebrate the victories of their own get to me every single time. I get Aly Raisman’s parents. I would be a hot mess of a spectator watching one of my children on the world’s biggest stage. Matching shirts on fans, tears on the podium, fists pumping and yelling have my feelings in overdrive. Rowdy Gaines fires me up like no other announcer, and Bob Costas is like a lovely worn sweater I forgot I owned. After a long political season of this country fighting against itself, I was in need of an infusion of USA pride. Standing in solidarity, even if it is to claim the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time as our own, is a welcome change to the arguing across party lines.

I’ve been avoiding my social media feeds because of the endless barrage of political rhetoric. Now I avoid it because I cannot have my primetime Olympic watching spoiled. Do not tell me what happened. We cannot be friends if you ruin the finals. I rely on Bob to breakdown the day for me and emotionally build the events until I’m, literally, on the edge of my couch cushions in anticipation.

I appreciate the passion, intensity and effort put in by these athletes and coaches. Making the world bigger for my kids by exposing them to the need for a refugee team or explaining the importance of a selfie taken by gymnasts from two very different Koreas is necessary parenting. Global discussions wrapped in an athletic package is a delivery my kids can understand. Thank you Team USA for another Olympics full of memories and for the work you’ll put in out of the limelight until Tokyo in 2020.

 


 
Parenting the Littles
By     |    Jun 24, 2016
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Parenting the Littles

Something has been missing all week. Someone actually…two someones. Our oldest two sons have been at summer camp this week which is the first time half of the children have been away at the same time. It’s been interesting to see our third son step into the role of oldest for the week. He’s been extremely helpful and attentive to his sister. He’s enjoyed being the leader instead of the one who tags along with whatever his older siblings want... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Dinosaur National Monument
By     |    Jun 13, 2016
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Take a Trip: Dinosaur National Monument

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. I have a box of plastic dinosaur figures in various sizes in our basement. Each of the boys went through a dinosaur-loving phase during their toddler years. While they no longer play with the dinosaur figures, they remain intrigued by fossils. The love of fossils comes from... [Read More]

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Mama, They See You
By     |    Jun 6, 2016
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Mama, They See You

I’ll be limping across the finish line this week on the last day of school wrung-out and emotionally drained. Our 5th grader has had A YEAR. I cannot tell you anything specific academically he learned because academics took a backseat this year to some serious life lessons. There have been difficulties in the classroom with another student. There have been laws to study and bureaucracy to wade through. There have been meetings and emails…so many meetings and emails. We seriously... [Read More]

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Our Traditional Summer List
By     |    May 26, 2016
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Our Traditional Summer List

I have to stop looking at my social media feeds for the next two weeks. I have several friends, in and out of state, who already are on summer break from school, and I am jealous. The end is in sight for me but not close enough. We have eight school days remaining this school year. The kids are excited for the field trips and picnics and less-rigorous final days of school, but I’m over it. I want to wake-up... [Read More]

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May Madness
By     |    May 13, 2016
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May Madness

The month of May is when I’m in high-mama gear. Four school-aged children means that on any given weekday from now until the last day of school, someone has a field trip or track or junior Olympics or an assembly or a concert. Some days it’s multiple children requesting a parent make an appearance. If field tripper was a profession, that would be my career in May. The build-up to the end of the school year starts at the beginning... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Canyon de Chelly
By     |    May 5, 2016
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Take a Trip: Canyon de Chelly

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. If there’s a theme to our vacations, besides national parks, it’s canyons. There’s not a canyon rim hike we haven’t enjoyed, from the Grand Canyon to Canyonlands to Yellowstone. We love the views across a canyon and peering into the depths below. We’ve watched videos and viewed... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Flagstaff Area National Monuments
By     |    Apr 27, 2016
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Take a Trip: Flagstaff Area National Monuments

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. When anyone inquired where we were headed for spring break this year, I answered northern Arizona, which translated as Grand Canyon to everyone who asked. While Grand Canyon was on our list of stops over break, it was just one of several. The Flagstaff area is home... [Read More]

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Learning the Dance Curve
By     |    Apr 11, 2016
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Learning the Dance Curve

Dance class has brought our daughter much joy over the last couple of years. It’s the thing that brings the most joy to her six-year-old heart. This year we put more time into her sport and added one son to the dance floor. Sports in our family are typically played with a ball on a field or court. There are referees not adjudicators. Scoreboards clearly tell you where you stand. Dance has been a learning curve. I’ve heard people snicker... [Read More]

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Making Peace with Glasses
By     |    Mar 4, 2016
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Making Peace with Glasses

My personality falls strongly under the Type A category. I’m prone to anxiety, organized, sensitive, tend to over-commit, and time-conscious. I’m not a fan of surprises and like to plan for things. These traits, while sometimes helpful as a parent, most of the time leave me exasperated. Raising four children with their own personality quirks seriously messes with my desire for organization and timeliness. Throw into the mix that I can’t read their minds or know what’s happening in their... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes
By     |    Feb 3, 2016
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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes

I was recently verbally slapped for my 8-year-old’s choice of heroes. They are, for the most part, athletes, and another adult expected better from me as the parent. I was told it should bother me he didn’t name a scientist or teacher or former president. It doesn’t. As he matures, his list will change and those larger-than-life people he sees on TV and in the news will no longer dominate his thoughts, but stay firmly planted in memories of his... [Read More]

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