A Life of Passion

Monday, June 25, 2012

Have any of you seen the commercial for P&G promoting the Olympics? The one that stands out most in my mind is the commercial with Shawn Johnson flipping around her house. You can watch it here.
Anyways, through randomly clicking around yesterday I somehow ended up on P&G's home page watching video after video of 3 minute segments on "Raising an Olympian". I let them stream for a good half hour while I worked. Some of them were about gymnast, and others about swimmers and runners. Some videos were in English and some in foreign languages with subtitles. The one thing, however, that they all have in common is that each video is an interview with the Olympian's biggest supporter, Mom.

I got to thinking about the passion it must take to become an Olympian, and how much dedication it takes to raising one. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I'm a professional quitter. As soon as a sport or activity requires A) too much time or effort or B) suffering any amount of pain... I'm OUT. I got to talking with my mom about this, and about how fervent someone has to be to make it that far in their sport, and we both agreed that we are neither one passionate enough people to endure all it must take to achieve that honor. I told my mom, "the only thing I'm passionate enough to hurt over is Caroline". Well this weekend I found out exactly how true that was.

We were in Austin for a family reunion, at lunch at an outdoor area to eat. Caroline was sitting at a pretty tall picnic table. After having sat there with her for 20 minutes, I moved for 3 seconds and in that time, she hit the edge of her bench just right and went toppling head first into the gravel. My heart skipped like five beats, I think, as she looked up and the blood had already come rushing. I was a wreck. Needless to say, a Dora Band Aid, Trip to the Urgent Care, Adhesive Sutures, and a $200 doctor bill later, she was happy as a clam with her 10 stickers, and bribe payment of Mac And Cheese, while I was yes, still crying. Below is the accident in a nutshell:

(Top: Caroline getting her cuts closed up. She was scared but didn't cry once. Bottom: Caroline and her big bandage for sleeping and play time. Side: Caroline on day two, after the glue had dried.)

She was a champ. I was DEFINITELY more worked up than she was after the first 5 minutes. Now the key is getting her to calm down enough to let them heal without re injury.

It was this experience, as I'm crying an hour after we left the doctor, with blood on my shirt and in my hair, that really confirmed that my passion is this... her life. It's the only thing that I have ever done that is WORTH how painful it is to raise children. It's to let your heart "walk around outside your body". I want to protect her from EVERYTHING, but in reality I can't. All I can do is prevent what I can, and support through what I can't. In retro spec this accident will be trivial. She may have a few scars with a story to tell, it will probably get talked about every 2 years at the reunions from here out, but otherwise, it was just another day in the life of raising children.

I have no idea what passions Caroline will have someday. Maybe it will be a sport, that she will be willing to work and sacrifice for. Maybe it will be music, or performing, or writing, or painting. I don't know how driven she will be to become something most people see as impossible, all I DO know is that my passion is her and being a mother to all my children someday, and while I may not be able to relate to her passions, I know that I will foster them despite how much work and effort or pain are involved.

pas·sion noun \ˈpa-shən\
 a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
-Merriam Webster

... and that my Dear, was all she wrote...


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