Monday, July 30th, 2012
I’ve been excited to get my almost-7-year-old, Julia, into following the games. We got off to a rocky start Friday night, when I let her and her younger sister stay up later than usual to watch the opening ceremonies. Very quickly this “privilege” felt like more of a punishment. The girls were beyond confused by what they were watching; it was a downright brutal thing to view with inquisitive children. “What’s the Industrial Revolution?” “Why do they wear those clothes?” “Why is that lady jumping out of that plane?” “What do you mean, she’s not really jumping out? What is she doing? Who is jumping out, then?” and so on. I asked Julia to stop asking so many questions, but as she fairly pointed out, “Mommy, I like to understand what’s going on!” Finally I had to turn it off and call it a night.
Last night we let her watch some of the women’s gymnastics, and she was glued to the screen. She immediately picked a favorite (McKayla Maroney); announced to me and my husband that she’s going to be in the Olympics, too (we let it go); and tried to predict who was going to get the best score and why. Around 9:30 p.m., when NBC switched back to swimming, it was bedtime. She hopped into bed, bringing her dad’s Sports Illustrated featuring the Fab Five on the cover. I taped the rest and promised we’ll watch it tonight, and then I went to sleep, too.
Now I know that Jordyn Wieber had her shocking loss, and I’m dreading watching it with Julia. My little girl feels things tres deeply, and gets emotionally invested in pretty much everything we watch together. In fact, we couldn’t even continue with “American Idol” this season because she would dissolve into hysterics at every elimination, and talk about the fallen competitor for days and weeks afterward. (Not long ago she named a goldfish Shannon after Shannon Magrane, who was one of the first to be kicked off, back in March.) How did I not think of this when I suggested it’d be a fun thing to watch together?
Yeah, yeah–I know the Olympics give me the chance to reinforce the lessons that someone always has to lose, that life isn’t always fair, and so on, but the fact remains that it’s going to be a loooong two weeks in our home. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes tonight.
Image: Professional gymnastic balance beam in sport palace via Shutterstock