Is Your Child an Olympian?

The Olympics are starting to draw to an end. My DVR is breathing a sigh of relief and my children have decided they are just as good at gymnastics as Gabby Douglas.

They are also unnaturally fascinated by the commercial of the little girl doing a handstand balanced on two chair arms while watching TV. I’m a little worried.

Still, as we get ready to watch the closing ceremonies, I can’t help but wonder about the parents of those Olympians. I imagine the number of hours they put in to make sure their child was fed, clothed, bathed, and in clean uniforms via the tear inducing Proctor Gamble commercial. I think of them sitting in the stands like Aly Raisman’s parents, wincing and jumping and cheering. And I wonder, as I look at my two little gingers, how do they know?

How do they know their child will be one of five Olympians out of millions of little girls in gymnastics? How do they know their son will be the one in hundreds of thousands in swim lessons who will take the gold? Or even just make the team?

My children are amazing, gifted, fantastic, insanely talented.

To me.

To everyone else, I’m sure they’re two normal little kids who are slightly sweeter than average.

I’ve heard the parents of the Olympians, of singing super stars, of famous actors say, “He always knew this was what he wanted to do.” I can’t help but be boggled and wondering, really? There was never a parental push? Because I don’t want to dampen my children’s dreams. Ever. But I’m not very pushy when it comes to extracurricular activities.

Am I stifling a dream or would the dream sprout and build no matter what I do? What do you think?

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