Tonight, my little family will settle in, as is our tradition to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Meat is marinating in the fridge for Korean BBQ bowls. Bria is extra motivated to get home from practice and Jack keeps asking where we will be going to watch.

I’m about as patriotic as most people get. I get super excited for the Olympics. I’ll be honest, I prefer to watch soccer, track and swimming but I follow the Olympics in the winter too. I remember thinking that I would one day somehow make it into the Olympic arena tumbling my way across the floor. Again, my backhandspring was more of a backflopdown but I had dreams y’all!

This year, I had an Olympic sized meltdown. I haven’t planned well for these Olympic events. There is no Opening Ceremonies Watching Party. I am barely getting where I need to be when I need to be there. Ray has been out of town for the last couple of weeks. I’ve managed to get to school, the gym, soccer, basketball, pick up from the high school activities and church. I’m calling it a win. For the bonus, we’ll have Korean BBQ for supper LATE after basketball practice. I am thankful that while I have them still living with me, the kids will huddle tonight for a little bit to watch the event.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s my blog and I can write what I want to. There is another side to the opening ceremonies. The girls turned the news on this morning and every headline seemed to be an Olympic scandal. It used to be that the Olympics were a time for peace around the world when we could all compete with good sportsmanship that was an example to our children. Now we have a monster hurting little girls, bickering amongst the athletes and well, this isn’t the memory I want for my kids. I want them to huddle with me around the television and cheer for our country. I want them to jump up and down and have their heart swell with every gold medal. I want them to learn what it means to lose and how to act when they win. This is not the Olympics of my childhood.

There are lessons in the Olympics. My little cousin, who I treat more like a niece (I love you Phia) has aspirations of swimming in the Olympics someday. I have my little stipend put away so that when she flies off that starting block, I’ll be there. These events motivate our athletes to greatness. I love the pomp and circumstance of every country walking in and seeing our flag. I hope that each athlete is able to recognize the wonderful freedoms and opportunities our country provides and stand tall and proud win or lose. There are future Olympians watching.