Last Sunday the Summer Olympics in Tokyo were finished. I have nothing but admiration for those who compete at that level and all they go through to be an Olympian. This year they added new events like skateboarding, sport climbing, baseball and softball, karate, and surfing. It takes years of dedicated practice, fitness and resolve to compete in the Olympics. Your life is devoted to the sport in which you have chosen to compete. They really are stars through participation, gold medal or not.
Then I saw a 100-year-old lady on the news that had taken up weightlifting at 91. She was looking very fit and happy to compete in this category. She is sure it was not too late to become an athlete.
As I sat there eating popcorn with thin mints on top, I wondered if there was anything in my life I would have dedicated my time, energy and life doing. And it dawned on me—the Mommy Olympics.
The Mommy Olympics don’t get much publicity, and maybe someone should do something about it. The mouse in the corner should roar, “The Domestic Goddess Awards given in the Mommy Olympics need their Fifteen Minutes of Fame!” Event number one, Weightlifting of a New Baby. Learning to Carry Baby Like a Football is old hat. However, fumbling the kid is never allowed, nor is letting the tiny bundle roll off the couch. And as my son grew heavier and heavier when I competed in this event, the interference was Will’s wiggle squiggly grab at your hippie long hair to swing down on the floor.
Then there is the two-child event, A Toddler and a Newborn. You can be easily disqualified if one gets away from you, and the penalties are severe. When you have conquered the two children hold, you can’t get too cocky. If Will, at five would obey the hold-Mommy’s-hand rule, Thomas would take it upon himself to rebel against it in the parking lot of Sears. Freedom was his cry and freedom was his try. He would toss himself backwards, landing on his head on hot asphalt. The screaming was terrific. All my former training was lacking. No medals for this mommy in that particular event. A slight built, prim, grey-garbed lady of 50 came over while I was making my move out of the crowded parking lot with two hollering toddlers. We made it to the curb. Most Mommies reading this will relate. “What have you done to that child?” was the question poised by a former member of the Spanish Inquisition. “I have done nothing to him except insist he not fall under that pickup truck. Wait till I get him home.” She did not ask for an autograph or ask what part of Mommy Olympics I was training for; life is sometimes not fair.
As the years rolled by with Coach Bill White, I kept up the dedication to the craft of Mommy Olympics for two sons. Next week on August 16 is their birthday. They were both born on August 16, two years apart. Will is turning 48 and Tom will be 46. Both are out of college, have good jobs and are married to wonderful women, Kirsten and April. Fathers both, Will’s daughters are Caitlin, Mackenzie and Victoria. Tom lays claim to Ellie and Robert. My time competing in the Mommy Olympics is over. I won lots of golden kisses and it was worth the hard work and adventure. Every Mom has stories and I love to embarrass kids with the Roaring Mouse.
I just read in the paper that the most decorated Gold Medal Olympian for Track and Field, who started in the Olympics in 2004, at eighteen, is now done competing after Tokyo. Allyson Michelle Felix married Kenneth Ferguson (also a track star), and they have a little girl, a toddler, Camryn. Allyson’s doing Mommy Olympics now. You go girl! Roaring Mouse, looking forward to Paris 2024.