Moms. We are a pretty good group – if I have to say so myself. After enduring nine long months of nausea, skin stretching and the final bone-ripping push, we give and are given – life. After that, things change really quickly.
And just when we think we’ve got down the whole drill of being tough, tender, nurturing, supportive, intuitive, wise, tolerant, protective and encouraging, something happens that threatens our credibility.
My boys have always been involved in sports, probably because Ron and I love and have always participated in sports ourselves. Action. Exercise. It’s natural for us to be excited about practices and achievements, encouraging about disappointments and mistakes, always pointing out the payoff of ‘sticking with it.’
For some moms, it’s not quite so easy. I heard the story of a mother who was so deathly afraid of the water she wouldn’t allow her only son near a pool or body of water. Her fear transcended logic. The boy is grown up now, but still shares his story: “Mom told me I couldn’t go in the water until I learned how to swim.”
Needless to say, it wasn’t Michael Phelps’ mom. Michael recently admitted he hated the water when he was little. “It’s wild to kind of think about how far we’ve come. From my mom putting me in the water safety. I hated the water. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I learned on my back.” (USAToday) In essence, Michael was saying “I heart mom.”
As I have pointed out, each of my kids is a different story – different likes, different strengths, different weaknesses. And definitely different talents. It takes more than intelligence to recognize when a child is gifted. It takes hands-on moms and dads to be there during hours and hours of practice before they run the race, swim the lap, or lift the weight. It is our job to either encourage or redirect our kids according to their talents.
Michael’s mom certainly was intuitive about her son Michael, encouraging him to go beyond his aquaphobia and give swimming a go. 28 Olympic Medals(23 Gold) shine in her honor!
Glad she didn’t slap a guitar on him and send him off to try out for The Voice!
I’m sure he’s also relieved!