Now that I have little ones, I dream for them. With running genes from both my husband and me, will Munchkin become a runner? With Monkey's dedication to soccer (he practices on his own all the time), will he become an incredible striker for the USA? It's too early to tell, but commercial's like this one from Proctor & Gamble do make me wonder.
As a parent, I wonder not only about how a child becomes an Olympian, but how does a family maintain the focus and dedication to help that child become an elite athlete? You hear all these stories about how it's all worth it and how proud the parents are, but what if an exceptional athlete doesn't make the American team? Was it still worth it? What if parents have mortgaged the house and the kid gets hurt? Was it worth it? Or what if a child is part of a large team, but not the star everyone is talking about? Was it worth it?
I don't know if I wish for the years of sacrifice and hours at the gym or pool or weight room. I don't know if I'd want to send my child to live with another family, just so they can train. And what about the costs--not only the financial ones, but the cost to the rest of the family, the cost of the pressure to perform, the cost of living a life apart from the "regular" families you know.
I do hope my kids will be athletic and that they find a sport they excel in. Though I admire the success of all those incredible athletes (and envy their abs), I'm not sure my dream for my kids would be to become an Olympic--or even professional--athlete. However, the dreaming will soon be out of my hands. My children are the ones who get to try and learn and sometimes fail at their endeavors until they find the right dream for them.