I am a sucker for the Olympics. I love the pomp and circumstance. I love the cheesy inspirational advertising. I love the opening ceremonies, the closing ceremonies and everything in between. In 2008 I watched many late night Olympic events live due to repeated trips to the hospital with preterm labor contractions that were actually Braxton-Hicks on steroids. Nurses monitored me and I watched Michael Phelps win his first, second, fifth gold medals. They asked me obnoxious questions about my personal life while I looked over their shoulders at body builders lifting what appeared to be three times their body weight. We waited for contraction-halting medications to kick in and watched the under-appreciated Rhythmic Gymnastics team make ribbons and plastic balls and hula hoops and trampolines gracefully, effortlessly beautiful. The Olympics ended two days after our youngest was born.
This time while we watch the Olympic coverage I won't be worrying about babies or injections or how much longer before we can go home. I'll be with my kids marvelling the time and talent and dedication it takes the athletes to perform at their best. We will root for the US, but will be proud of whomever gets the gold, the silver, the bronze. We will discuss geography, different cultures and the world. We will celebrate the competitors who reIt feels likepresent their countries alone and the ones who came as part of a huge team.
My late night Olympic vigil will be of a different sort this time around. I will be worrying about party details and projects and crafts for a certain little girl's Mermaid fourth birthday. I'll be searching Pinterest for cute ideas while peeking over my laptop to see who wins gold. I'll be cutting out mermaid fins and making kelp out of tissue paper while wondering if I've cut off more than I can chew (the answer is always yes) and some commentator, probably Ryan Seacrest, will be talking up the latest medal winner.
I love that the excitement and pride that the Olympics brings will always remind me of the excitement and pride of having our daughter. It feels like we will be ushering in new eras of raising her with each Olympics. She'll be just starting first grade next time, a preteen the Olympics after that, learning to drive in 2024, nearing the end of college in 2028...some of her biggest moments, and by extension, mine, will have the backdrop of the Olympics. The familiar Olympics melody gets me choked up every time I hear it. Dum, Dum, Da, Dum, DUM, DUM. Now, as I think of what it will signify in my memories of my baby, I will likely be a puddle as soon as I hear that first beat.