For the past two weeks during the Olympics, I have found myself wishing that I had raised my children in different decades.
Earlier because things were more straightforward, or later, like now, because moms in 2010 have some remarkable examples to motivate children.
As she brought up her children in the fifties and sixties, my mother in law was firm about children attending school whether they wanted to or not. I respected and admired her for this. My husband, responding positively to this inner confidence went to school every day and actually won prizes for consecutive days in attendance.
They look pretty serious or even confused, but these children went to school anyway.
He didn't want to go to school.After that victory, there was simply no living with this particular child. He wasn’t crazy about school anyway, considered it an interruption. Now on days when he didn’t want to go, he held his stomach and said, “Remember that one time? Remember when you sent me to school when I said my stomach hurt and I threw up? Do you want that to happen to me again? Do you want them to have to call you again?”
A few years later during the early years of the Internet, I was in graduate school and received an email from this same child home sick. His father had taken the day off to care for him.
"things are bad here. Dad's making me clean my room tho i'm really really really sick. when are you coming home?
It turns out that he's a natural teacher. Loves teaching, helping kids work together, knows how to talk to students, how to motivate them to be their best selves, and he is, in fact, in graduate school earning his master's degree in education. Hated school, fought against going and now finds himself called to one of the most richly rewarding professions (I'm not talking about cash). Hmmm... how is that possible? What did I miss?
What's not to enjoy when you can play poker in the back row during a school band performance? Not that anyone would ever do that...
Eric Hidin'And eventually there was Wayne Gretzky who was rumored to have never been forced to practice. He wanted to practice! He begged to practice! He refused to come in out of the Canadian cold so he could keep practing all through the semi-darkness of the Canadian arctic day. That, my dears, I would say, is how he became The Great One.
someone is still not smiling
You can't tell little "Ribbon Candy" has a fever, can you? She's not smiling because someone made her wear lipstick so she pressed her mouth together.
If I faced any of these lame excuses with my children now, I would only have to point to the 2010 Olympics where that brave downhill skier actually, with great fortitude and courage, forced herself to ski with a broken pinkie.
Can you imagine?
Did you see the headlines about it?
Think what my children might have achieved had I this news to use to encourage them! I can see the headlines now.
Child Plays Chopstick Though Brother Crowds Bench
Boy Cleans Toys Up Despite Bad Attitude
Girl Struggles To Carry Hefty Doll in Adult-Sized Backpack
Here's to doing our best despite life's broken pinkies.