Friday, August 10, 2012

Dreaming As BIG As An Olympian

Thanks to the lack of cable in my house, I don't have to fight with my kids about how much TV they watch. We do enjoy movies but even when it's a favourite movie there are really only so many times you can watch it. But something miraculous happened last week… through a free channel floating through our still intact satellite dish, we've been able to enjoy some of the Olympics on CTV.

How incredible.

I mean, how marvellous are these athletes? Don't they just make you want to work to become better at something? For the first time in 6 weeks, there has been no lagging when it's time for me to face the DVD player and submit to a torture exercise routine with Jillian Michaels.

But if it's possible, something even more exciting than hardworking, gifted athletes setting records, achieving dreams and representing their countries has happened… My kids are paying attention.

Kid #1 has an ASD diagnosis and Kid #2 is not ASD but emulates his big brother a lot. For most of their lives, the only thing that has ever held their attention for more than a few minutes are toys with wheels or the occasional Thomas video. And now, the Olympics.

The boys are watching intently; clapping, cheering and gasping. They're interacting with the athletes through the TV, showing concern when someone falls and jumping excitedly when someone wins. When I think I couldn't possibly be happier, tearing up over this HUGE step forward in our home, something even bigger happens. They tell me, "I can do that Mom. I can try." 

These 2012 Summer Olympic Games have opened a door for me to teach my boys about competition, working hard, having goals and winning/losing. For the first time, I've been able to explain a concept to them without having to create an illustration using dinky cars. It's big. Probably the biggest occasion in my parenting career so far.

Thank you, Olympians. Your astounding dedication has nudged open a very heavy door into the minds of my children. Although my dreams are different than yours, I'm now dreaming just as big as you are.

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