Watching the parents of Olympic athletes has me ruminating on my own parents and children.
Imagining the countless sacrifices, hours of intense practice, and monumental hopes Olympic parents have for their children is overwhelming.
And it's not.
My mother and father went to college.
And then they both dropped out to get married and eventually, to have me.
So, when it came time for academic achievement, they were incredibly encouraging. My mom taught me to read when I was four years old. They sent me to academic camps and supported advanced placement courses and sat in the front row when I delivered the commencement address in high school.
They wanted the best for me and maybe lived a bit vicariously through the achievement.
It's no different than what I do with my own three children. I want everything for them...love, happiness, success, passion and opportunity. And, most days, I'm willing to sacrifice what it takes to help them to discover and to harness that passion.
But after watching the USA Women's Gymnastics team compete last night and witnessing Jordyn Wieber's elimination from the all-around finals by a fraction of a second, I was heart broken...and immediately thought about her parents.
I know what it feels like to want the world for your child, to know how hard that they've worked for something, and to realize that their dream will not be actualized.
And yet, we, as parents continue to be the greatest advocates and sometimes containers for our children's dreams...continuing to encourage when they are tired, frustrated, hurt, worn out. Because we know that dreams are what fuel us. They are the reason that we live.
And tomorrow will bring a new opportunity. New hope. No matter the sacrifice of the past or the outcome, the true test is to keep dreaming...even if the dream evolves. No one can take away the ability to dream. The role of parents is to keep our children hungry for finding their passion, their love, their Olympic dream.