MY GOLD MEDALIST
By Beth Feldman, Role Mommy
Sunday, May 7, 2006 will forever be etched in my daughter’s mind...a day that perfect childhood memories are made of. You see, for the first time ever, Rebecca, who is just learning how to figure skate, took home her very first gold medal at a mini competition at our local skating rink. Did she have to do double axles and sow cows to achieve this amazing feat? No, but you should’ve seen the smile on her face when she found out she had placed first amongst the threesome she competed against this past weekend. As I saw her holding up her medal while balancing a bouquet of roses with one arm, I began to think back to when I won my first award (I believe it was a district wide storytelling contest) and the thought that with Rebecca’s memorable achievement, life had truly come full circle.
Yes, I’m an ambitious individual and I’m proud to say, so is my daughter. She’s already learning first hand about trying your best, but at the same time, we want to make sure she’s taking part in activities she truly enjoys. If she wants to try something new and exciting (that is safe and reasonably priced of course), then we’re all for it. Do what you love, and you will love what you do…that’s the simple wisdom we hope to impart upon Rebecca as she begins to discover the things in life she truly loves.
Becca has a tireless spirit, is empathetic towards others and on most occasions, is a good listener…except of course when she and her brother get into battle royales in the back seat of our car. She’s got so much gumption and drive that I’m sure she’ll be wracking up many more accolades in the years ahead.
While Rebecca may have won her first medal, I’d never pressure her to practice for hours on end so she can one day compete in the Olympics. If she has such lofty pursuits, then I will cheer her on every step of the way. But she has to want it for herself…I can’t want it for her. Truthfully, I’d love for her to know how to figure skate so she can one day teach her own child how to do it too.
When you’re an adolescent girl with a lifetime ahead of you, you are told that anything is possible as long as you do your best. Once you hit the workforce and then become a wife and mother, many of us stop believing that’s true. That’s why I want Rebecca to truly live life to the fullest potential. Try new things and experience all the world has to offer before she comes across those naysayers who will try to tell her that she can’t have it all – or at least not all at the same time. I also want her to know that even when she does start raising children, she should never give up on her own dreams. If she’s pursuing the things she loves then she will be a happier person and more importantly, a really great mom.
As parents, we have to remember to let our children be children. Let them play their favorite sport, sing in front of their bedroom mirror, paint the sidewalk (with washable colors of course), read their first Harry Potter book, assemble that Spiderman puzzle on their own, fly a kite, blow bubbles, ride a bike for the first time without training wheels, experience true friendship and spend quality time with family…and I don’t mean running errands with your kids or chauffeuring them to soccer practice. There is so much for our children to discover and it’s our job as parents to be their tour guides and their role models. Best of all, if you rediscover your own childhood and reclaim your own passion along the way, trust me you’ll enjoy the trip too.