I wonder sometimes if it sucks a little to be a young Olympian.
When I was a kid, I thought the Olympics was the coolest thing. It's still pretty cool, but back then, there was nothing quite like the thought that maybe I, too, could be a world-class swimmer. (I still really love swimming. I blame The Little Mermaid.) But as with almost all dreams of children, it was fleeting, and I never revisited it again. (The writer thing first crossed my mind as a 9-year-old, because of the Babysitters Club books.)
But I think we've all seen that one commercial, celebrating moms, where it shows little kids being pulled out of bed, early in the morning, eating breakfast, and going to practice at some sport. Yeah, it's a little romanticized.
But it got me thinking.
People who win medals don't get there on accident. Yes, they work hard. Parents can only provide so much motivation before even that is lost in the shuffle. The athlete is the one that keeps it up, for good or bad, until they win. But they all start young. There are kids basically being amazing at 15, an age where I was just trying not to be too awkward. (It didn't work.) No, I'm not depressed. Actually, I'm a little motivated.
Because who takes a six-year-old seriously?
Obviously someone does.
I hope I take my kids that seriously when they tell me their dreams.