Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh, Say Can You See

Lily, Liam, Granny (my mom), Tom, and I are sitting captivated by the opening ceremonies for the olympics. Other than wanting to punch my son, who's jumping on and off of my furniture like some sort of primate, I feel the same excitement that I have always felt, for as long as I can remember, beholding the pride of the athletes and the unity of the games. I used to stand in front of the mirror, pretending to accept my own gold medals- (quite a long time ago- you'll be relieved to know. now, as I stand in front of the mirror, I'm just hoping to see a little less belly or imagine myself with an expertly crafted facelift).

The kids and I have been following the build-up for this Olympiad for weeks now, reading the articles on several American competitors, with fervor, especially Dara Torres (the 41 year-old mom) and the Maryland native Michael Phelps. Benjamin has already decided that he will be swimming his way to a medal in the near future, and has been flocking to the local pool nearly every day since watching excerpts of the Athens games on the "NBC Olympics Channel". Unfortunately for him, he fell asleep before the ceremonies were aired, so he's snoring through this spectacle as we speak (and not jumping off the furniture with his very misbehaved, and soon to be mamed, brother).

This is such a moving and educational event for us all- as we read off the names of the participating countries and debate the continents they're from, then move on to the economics and dedication of some of the less populous teams- amazed that countries such as Eretria, whose per capita income is $130 annually, could be marching with such grandeur- even more so than those countries, such as ours, of great wealth. What a beautiful world we live in and how remarkable to see humanity displayed together, even during times of such strife as we live in now. We've also had quite a few laughs, such as the thought of me moving to the country of Gabon- figuring I might have a chance to make their team (currently composed of only a handful of people)- where any medals won are rewarded with promises of mansions and "untold riches" from their ruler of 41 years. I just need to pick my sport (speed walking? is that really a sport? THAT'S IT PEOPLE- I COULD BE A SPEED WALKER- I'D BETTER GET MOVING!!!). Of course, I could always send Ben in my place, to some far-off, developing nation, forced to train eighteen hours a day....believe me, this may become a reality as he proves himself to be more of a pain in my happy-slappy everyday (i.e. "Benjamin- please come in and put napkins around the plates, for dinner..." "MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY- ALL I EVER DO IS WORK WORK WORK AROUND HERE!!!".) LOL

I've been marveling at the beauty of the male athletes, much to Tom's chagrin. I've also been saddened at the reminder of the tragedies in Darfur, mentioned during the procession of competitors from the Sudan, and stunned at the oppression of female athletes from the Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia. Granny has complained many times now, that the procession is not in alphabetical order, as it was in prior ceremonies, Lily is trying to figure out the answers to her first fifth grade homework assignment (yes, sent in the mail for her to complete before school officially begins), and Liam is desperately attempting to keep his eyelids from fluttering into dreamland, wanting to catch a glimpse of all of the "spanish speaking countries" (he loves spanish class). Tom is just trying to strategize how to increase our bottom-line by injecting either his wife or one of his many offspring into the extremeties of olympic competition, chuckling every five minutes over the countries represented by so few athletes that we surely had a chance on some continent, somewhere.

Benjamin the big "Phelps Phan" and future freestyle medalist. Liam, the cyclist and triathalon contender (along with our neighbor and "Ben's wife" Molly).
Lily- with incredible potential as a fencer.

All and all it is a mesmerizing and notstalgic night for me- one which is proving to be a great end to a somewhat difficult Friday.

P.S. If you too are following Michael Phelps, here is a schedule of his participation:


(^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) said...

Good good good......

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Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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