Score Please

I admit it – I am an Olympic junkie.  I love watching the Olympics.  I think it started when I was a little girl.  My mother and I would sit together, cuddled under a blanket, mesmerized by the high-flying ice skaters and dare-devil gymnasts who disregarded what we considered to be the limits of physical ability and gravitational possibilities.  I remember watching them sit on a hard bench in their usually awkward looking outfit, flanked by their coach and breathing heavily.  Some of them sat there flashing a smile from ear to ear, while others cradled their head in their hands.  I’m sure the waiting time between performance and scores is either full of elation or agony.  My mother and I use to elevate ourselves to the position of “honorary judge” and offer our critique of the athlete’s performance while awaiting the judge’s official score and their rank in the competition.  This Olympics in particular I’ve noticed that right before the numbers are posted you usually hear a voice announce, “score please”.  What a moment for these athletes! 

The thing about this score is that it rates one performance, offered for evaluation only one time.  No one scores their commitment over the last four years.  No one rates their improvement from practice to performance.  Nope – you get one shot and you pray that everything you’ve done, said, thought and dreamed of comes together in perfect unity to produce an end product that is considered “flawless”.

I have no desire to, nor will I ever, qualify for the Olympics.  But there are times that as a mother I feel like the world is watching me.  But they only see me for a moment – a snapshot of  what I’m doing and what my children are like.  When I see a toddler throwing themselves on the ground in the middle of a store I don’t judge that mom.  I don’t shout – “score please!”.  Instead I find myself filled with compassion and empathy.  We’ve all been there – when our little angel turns into someone and something we never intended to create. 

I guess we’re all representing our own little country called “mommyville” and we need to give each other and ourselves a break.  Looking at the BIG picture helps.  I’ve talked to some moms who are overwhelmed and living in fear because their toddler will not give up their binki.  Big picture – will she use a binki in college?  No.  If it’s affecting her bite or causing other problems than we need to make a plan and move forward, but if we’re just trying to do things like everyone else is we aren’t being true to ourselves.  We are unique, our children are individuals and while it’s wonderful to have other moms to use as a reference – this is OUR game, OUR competition and our worst opponent can sometimes be ourselves.

As we watch the Olympians compete I hope we can remember that before they made it to our TV screens they spent countless hours in the gym, on the slopes and with their coach – all without the cheers and publicity that now surrounds them.  As moms I hope we can make it a priority to live a balanced life, spending lots of time with God and focusing on our family FIRST and not the fleeting moments that can throw us off guard some of the time. 

If it were up to me we’d all wear gold medals around our necks and ask that people wave our official “mommyville” flag when we pass by them in public – cheering us on as we undertake one of the most difficult jobs ever created.  When you are making dinner, finishing a school project or changing a diaper – just think of yourself as being in training.  A training that lasts a lifetime and is always changing, but in the end we get to stand back and watch our efforts create beautiful little people who will make the world a better place.

When you get tired and discouraged – read Hebrews 12.  It’s a pretty straight-forward account of what it means to follow Christ from an athlete’s perspective. You are so wonderful, so blessed and I am blessed to be on your team!

Just for fun…anybody have any ideas for what we could put on our flag?

2 Responses to “Score Please”

  1. 1 Kasey Johnson February 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Dad – those are fantastic events! I can think of a couple moms that would definitely medal in some of those events – thanks for the great ideas! Love the humor of midnight dancing – nicely put sir, nicely put. 😮

  2. 2 Dad February 26, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    How about these events for your “Mom Olympics?”

    *The Cross Country Van Delivery Service Relay.
    Points awarded for number of children picked up and dropped off in the shortest time.
    Extra points if your child takes lessons on the Stringed Bass

    *The “Oh, Darn it’s My Day For Treats” Short Race.
    Penalties for:
    yelling at check out person to hurry up
    damaging any of the purchased treats
    leaving a child in the store

    *The Downhill Fast Food Delivery Slalom.
    Competitors follow a winding course through a fast food restaurant holding 3 child’s meals and three drinks and zigzag their way through tables, chairs, crying children, and play areas. As the day lengthens the course can be tougher due to spills and occasional vomit.

    *The Individual Midnight Dancing Competition.
    To go for the gold on this event Olympiads must compete in all of the above, hold down a part-time job, put the children to bed, and then, in the middle of the routine, change into lingerie for after hours team sports!

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