I once heard Rosie O’Donell say (before she got weird,) “Before you’re a parent, you watch the Olympics and think, ‘that’s so cool. That’d be so awesome if that were me.’ Then you become a parent and all you can think is, ‘their parents must be so proud!!'”
Last night Paul and I watched the games along with the rest of the world, and I love to see the victorious shining moments with the crying, the anthem and Bob Costas’s recap. But it breaks my mommy heart to watch someone else’s life long goal and dream shatter with one slip on the ice. 4 years of relentless hard work and training all hinge on one race. Just one performance. No do-overs. That’s it. Now that’s just too much pressure.
I compare it to my own task of olympic proportion: raising kids. I am so glad I’m not judged on any one day’s performance and that’s all. So grateful to have several do-overs. So thankful my kids still want to snuggle with me at night, even when I forget to give them lunch money, or bark at them for spilling a blueberry smoothie all over the carpet, or leave them clamped in their high chair for way too long, or…or…
Sometimes I get frustrated because there are so few “wins” in the game of parenthood. But I can’t imagine having only 2 minutes to raise a child perfectly, and if not, good luck in another four years. Can you hear the German judge? “Zee ver five minutes late picking up zee child. Minus 10 points!!” Then the commentator would give a sympathetic “oooooo….” and you’d have to wait for your kid to become a teenager in order to get another chance! No, I like the slow and steady set up we’ve got now. There’s always chance for improvement.
My brother became a father for the first time yesterday. Welcome to the longest race of your life, big brother. Long and wonderful.