Sunday, August 17, 2008

All your dreams come true...

Maybe your family has more discipline than mine, but since the beginning of the Olympics, starting with the opening ceremonies, we have been glued to the TV every night. We even let our toddler eat in front of the tube during the open ceremonies! We never do that, we never let our child watch television... ever, she's only 22 months old she just does not need that in her life. BUT the Olympics is different, right. I mean next time the Summer games are on she will be 6 years old, so she needs to get the chance to see these sporting events. Well she loves the swimming and runs around our house like Frankenstein (arms stretched out in front of her) yelling "wimming, wimming!" Sometimes she does somersaults around the room explaining to us that she is diving. This is all really cute.

However one theme I keep hearing many winning athletes repeat over and over during their interviews with select reporters is the famous Disney mantra: "If you follow your dreams they will come true" or to put it another way "If you work hard at your dream it will happen". BUT this is not true... not to burst your bubbles or to be mean or harsh, but it's not. I mean I would love to become a famous writer, to sit at a desk looking out at my garden flourishing in the sunshine, like Barbara Kingsolver--that's how good I want to be, but the reality is that I am never going to be a Kingsolver writer, no matter how hard I work, I was not born with her creative writing skills. I know there are hundreds of children out there who dream of being good at sports, singing, art, acting, the list goes on but only a few of them will ever "make it" as an artist, and there is only one Michael Phelps in that pool. Oh there are others who are good, but there is only one Michael. This should not cause us to push our dreams aside, or to forget them. I think pursuing the activities we enjoy is usually a positive thing.

As a mother, how do I help my daughter follow her dreams, pursue her hopes and desires, give her support and love, without giving her false hope? How do I let her know that I believe in her 100 percent but at the same time not everyone is going to be a famous rock star or prima ballerina? I'm not saying that she is not going to become one of these because she might, but she might not. What am I going to say to her when she is 6 and watches the next Summer Olympics and hears some athlete say "this just goes to prove that anyone who follows their dreams can achieve anything". Do I tell her that is true? Or do I talk about the other swimmers in the pool who also dreamed of winning a gold medal but it just didn't happen for them.

I don't have any answers to this all I know is that only 3 swimmers, divers, runners, etc. were given a medal, the remaining athletes will leave China with a broken dream. A dream that does not end in winning. They all arrive with the same hope and desire, to win, to be the best, all their mothers believe in them, but only one gets the gold.

At six she will not understand this.

My little "Wimmer" who has won my heart!

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