Dear Baby: Olympic version

Well I mentioned yesterday that I am slightly obsessed with the Olympics. I tend to get a little wrapped up and am already a sucker for comeback and redemption. So, combine that with the fierce love I have for baby girl, and you've got one emotional post. Just prefacing...

Dear Larkyn,

Did you know that I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast one day? I know. I can't picture it either. Oh, and an Olympic ice skater. Just ask Nana and Paw Paw; they paid for the lessons and leotards. I used to watch those young athletes fly across the screen and then stand on the podium with their shiny medals and grateful smiles. I did not understand everything that went into that moment, when the world adored them and they could call themselves Olympic medalists.
Maybe they saw a future in the balance beam? I can't believe the camera was located and a photo was taken before swooping me to safety.
Well, the ice skating and gymnastics lessons only lasted a year or so. I realized that I wasn't crazy about either, and then I moved on to synchronized swimming and later, horseback riding, lacrosse, and field hockey. I stuck with riding and lacrosse for several years, and only stopped riding when it became too much to keep horses and play a varsity sport. I chose lacrosse and consider it one of the major influences on my life. I realized what it was to be on a team. To have people count on you, to pour all your energy into something and sometimes not have it pay off. To have people cheering for you, to have people angry when you make a mistake that costs the team.

You are too young to choose a sport, and I expect that we will on many different options, just like mama. My hope is that you find your way to a sport that makes you feel the way that horseback riding and lacrosse made me feel.
Beach volleyball maybe? We better relocate.

I wish you were old enough to have watched last night's Womens Gymnastics Final. My lesson for you was right there, in those two hours of incredible athleticism and heart.
photo from
You see, two days before, this young lady had her heart broken. She spent her whole life training for something that she missed by a painfully close margin. She was favored by the commentators, she was on commercials and talk shows, and everyone just knew she would bring home the All Around Gold for herself and her country. But Larky, sometimes you will train, you will practice, you will do everything right, only to have someone else be just a little bit better that day. You will feel like everything you did was wasted and that your heart will never recover. But....
You wake up the next day and you will move on. Nana used to always tell me, "this too shall pass", because her daddy told her that. Someone must have told Miss Jordyn that, because she came out in the next competition, which was not for herself, and showed the world what she was made of.  To do THIS (I'm waiting for a video to be available!!) with an unclear mind and a broken heart would be impossible. She put her sorrow aside and used the strength of her amazing teammates, support system, and her own courage, to fight for her team gold medal.

photo from

They all did. I want you to look up to and aspire to be great like these girls. They are classy, they fight, and they supported each other on the biggest stage in the world.

And I promise I will not be a lunatic mom in the stands. I will not say that you have to keep swimming so that we can vacation in Rio (Ahem, Debbie Phelps and your gigantic necklaces). I will be like these moms, who do laundry and make eggs. How's that?

1 comment:

Keith and Julie said...

Amazing run last night by the USA girls! Woohoo! And thanks for putting that tear-jerker of a commercial on the post, too. Get me some tissues.

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