Tonight my entire family will huddle around our television to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. We will ooh and awe at the whatever spectacular show they put on for us as they light the Olympic torch. We will compete to see who can identify the most flags by their country. We will chant U-S-A as they announce our athletes. Inevitable the kids will look at me and ask, “Mom why are you crying?”
Even as a child I cried watching the Olympics. I would be overwhelmed with emotion watching the athletes being able to celebrate all of the hard work, discipline and sacrifices they made. It’s possible I cried more watching an athlete come so close but fall short or worse get injured. Now, as a mom, I cry even more. I cry for the athletes, I cry for the parents, I cry for the coaches but mostly I cry because I miss my dad.
When I think of the Olympics I think of him. I think of the years I spent sitting next to him as he explained each sport and the judging process. It didn’t matter what the event was he loved to root for the underdog. I am certain it was his way of telling us not to let our life circumstances prevent us from reaching our goals. I watched as he screamed like a lunatic, pumping his fist in the air when an American would earn a place on the podium or grit his teeth and shake his head when we came up short. He wore his emotions on the sleeve just as I do.
There are so many life lessons you can learn from watching the Olympics. I know because my dad so wisely made them apart of our conversations. I never once felt like I was being lectured. Instead what I thought was a comment or insight about the athlete or the sport was really for my benefit. Over the next seventeen days I can only hope to provide the same wisdom to our children while hooting, hollering and shedding a few tears as we watch the world compete.
Do you watch the Olympics as a family?
What is your favorite Olympic memory to date?
What event are you most excited to see this year?
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