This summer, the kids watched the Olympics with me, something I've been waiting for them to be old enough to enjoy! Well actually, they were at my inlaws without me during the week that had the gymnastics competitions, so I recorded hours and hours and HOURS of Olympics and saved the gymnastics to watch with the kids.
You see, growing up my sports were gymnastics and swimming. I LOVE the summer Olympics, especially the gymnastics and swimming. And I want to share my love of those things (especially especially gymnastics) with the kids. Londo has a vague interest in those sports, in the way that he is vaguely interested in all sports but NOT in the way that he loves football and keeps up with basketball and has this fascination with curling in the Winter Olympics (huh?). But I need to get the kids into gymnastics so I can share the LOVE I have for it with others and watch it and be amazed together!
So when the kids were back home, we'd watch my recorded Olympic gymnastics right before bed. Londo had warned me that the Pookie was not that into it down at my inlaws, but I believe that watching it with me made a difference. I'm able to point out things to look for, I give context to the scoring, I explain why the moves are difficult, I provide the backstory for the gymnasts. They really enjoyed it, and we were amazed together!
But things did not go smoothly one night. I think it was the second night we were watching, and the Pookie pointed out how short the Chinese gymnast was. "She might be shorter than Mommy!" he said surprised.
Yes, I'm short. I'm 5'2", which is short but not really THAT short. But isn't it funny how short Mommy is? Haha! It's sooooo funny! Mommy is soooo short! And Daddy? Daddy is a GIANT! He's crazy tall! He is, in fact, 6'4", which is really rather tall.
Guess which side the kids inherited? Their father's height. They have both always been in the 75-95% or greater for height. Which, of course, means that they will be taller than me in a few years. Or next year! They will all be taller than Mommy next year! Haha! Mommy is so short. Ha. Ha. :-/
So there we were, watching gymnastics, with the Pookie only half joking that the gymnast might be shorter than Mommy, cause Mommy is SO short. And I explained to them that actually, all those gymnasts were shorter than me. They were SHOCKED! I explained that it's true, except one or two who might be the same height as me (I looked up Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, who are both also 5'2"). All the other female gymnasts are shorter than I am.
I explained how being so short was helpful to the female gymnasts and how being short helped the gymnasts get to the Olympic level of gymnastics. And then the Pookie commented, "The Pumpkin will never be a gymnast in the Olympics then." And I, like a FOOL, basically agreed. I basically said that she'd be too tall to be an Olympic gymnast.
We continued watching the gymnastics until a few minutes later, when I looked over at the Pumpkin, and saw she was crestfallen. She was even starting to cry! Oh crap! Why was she suddenly upset? I asked her what was wrong.
And she said, "Mommy, you told me I can't be an Olympic gymnast, and I've always wanted to be one! You crushed my dreams!"
I immediately starting saying things like, she could be the first tall Olympic gymnast! If she worked hard, who's to say she can't do it? She just needs to work hard and figure it out and she could be one if she really wanted! Etc. etc. etc.
In my mind, I was going: Wait... what? Since when does she have an interest in being a gymnast? She's "always" wanted to be an Olympic gymnast? Um, she hasn't taken any sort of tumbling class since she was, like, 3? I think 3. She only mentioned maybe taking gymnastics classes once during the Olympics. This is BRAND NEW! How can I be expected to know this BRAND NEW thing and not CRUSH her DREAMS when she's never even talked about it before?
Luckily for me, it blew over pretty quickly. The next morning, the Pumpkin told me that she decided she would be the first tall female Olympic gymnast! I totally supported her! If that's what she wants to do, she should do it! A day or two after that, she told me she was going to do basketball instead, since being tall would really benefit her in that sport. I encouraged this even more! In fact, I signed her up for the after-school basketball class this year.
I really want to be that supportive mom who is a great cheerleader for her kids, a shoulder to cry on when things don't go well, and voice that encourages them back into the game (or whatever it is) when they want to quit. I truly don't want to be a Dream Crusher! But how am I to know I'm crushing dreams when I am just being realistic and they have NEVER said anything about this supposed dream in their lives? Some days, it's just a crap shoot.