By: Sue Anganes
Every mom has a naturally skewed view of their children. In a mom’s eye, their child is the best athlete on the field, the sweetest sounding musician in the school orchestra, or the smartest kid in the nursery school. It’s natural for a mom to feel this way. It’s built into our psyche—a way to keep us bonded to our children. They are number one in our eyes, the Gold Medalists in our lives; and it shouldn’t be any other way. I can remember visiting with friends when I had my first newborn daughter. The wife also had a newborn, a son, almost the exact same age. I had the irrational thought in my mind of wondering why the other parents didn’t think my baby was better. Really? I can’t imagine that I wondered that back then, but it did make me think later in life just how much we attach and bond with our own children.
In the Olympics of Life, we wish for our children to succeed. Moms do just about anything to ensure that everything and every opportunity that could propel our kids to success is placed before them. Our standard is Gold and we push them along in sports, education, and the arts, hoping for excellence while cheering them along.
What happens, however, when our Gold Medalist becomes disqualified? They jump the starting gun, fall off the balance beam, or don’t place in the finals of life. Our direction and hopes for our kids are often shattered. But life never goes how we plan it. No matter what we do, things and situations change, often in the blink of an eye. It has been so important for me to learn to be open to change in every part of my life. I have slowly, and sometimes painfully, learned how to accept change and move forward from whatever place or situation I find myself in at that phase in life.
After my two youngest sons were diagnosed with their neurometabolic disease, I couldn’t figure out how to move forward. I was lost and in a rut of depression and confusion. What did the future hold for them, and how were we going to even make it to the “future”? It took a long time to realize that we didn’t have to stay in the Olympics of Life event that we started in! If we couldn’t go for gold in one event, move on to another! They are not competing in the Olympics of Life event that I envisioned that they would be competing in, but they are competing. They are competing in a different event; racing forward with their talents, intellect, and abilities, and reaching for that gold medal. I see the race they are running—it’s right there before them—and I will be so excited to see them standing on the podium, one day in the future, with their gold medals around their necks.