Memories of the Winter Olympics
A four-day solo trip to Vancouver reminds this mama about the important things in life.
-April Daniels Hussar
So much of life as a working mother, it seems, is spent in a rush of looking ahead, preparing for and anticipating a moment in the future – the end of the workday, fun weekend plans, a long awaited vacation date on the calendar. Time goes faster and faster – when you’re a kid that’s what the grownups say, and you don’t know what they’re talking about until one day, you look around, and your own child seem to be literally growing before your eyes, and you realize it’s true: time isn’t a fixed thing. Rather, it morphs, and speed ups; life unfurls faster and faster as you look ahead, planning and working to make it through, to get forms in on time, to make it to appointments, to reach and celebrate milestones. But sometimes what’s going on right now, right now in this moment, is so extraordinary, that it requires a conscious slowing down, a willful focus so that every minute can be experienced and appreciated and stretched to its fullest.
I just had one of those times – four days, in fact, where I willed myself to be fully present and aware in every minute, so that I didn’t lose a second. I wrote about some of my adventures at the Winter Olympics as a P&G Thank You Mom Blogger here. And now, I’m back home, typing away in my office, while my six-year-old daughter does her homework at my side, her Vancouver 2010 knit cap on, and I know that the experience will stay with me always, a gold medal on the necklace of my life.
There’s a part of me that regrets I couldn’t share those four days with my husband and my six-year-old daughter. I lost count of the number of times I thought to myself, Isabella would love this, or I wish Michael could see this. But there’s another part, the really honest part, that recognizes a solo trip like that was just what the doctor ordered. Being a mom, I’m familiar with that push-pull feeling, the guilty tug on the heart that comes with enjoying something just on my own. And, of course, the irony that I spent most of my time in Vancouver in the P&G Family Home, hanging out with and interviewing Team USA athletes and their families, doesn’t escape me. But I really tried to let go of all that mommy guilt and just appreciate, and enjoy. I think I did a pretty good job.
Here are a couple of highlights from the trip that I haven’t written about yet:
Meeting skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace and her daughter Lacee.
Noelle has an incredible story – you can read more about it here. It was a thrill for me to meet her, and chat about what it was like for her to have her whole family with her at the Winter Olympics – including not just her mom but her daughter too.
“The P&G House has been incredible for me and my whole family,” she told me. “It’s been a dream come true. To look up in the stands and see my daughter blowing me kisses between runs, I can’t even explain how perfect it was. Despite missing out on a medal by a tenth of a second, it really was a perfect race.”
I asked Noelle what her own mom did right raising her … and Noelle said, “Everything!”
(Mrs. Pikus – call me if you need a copy of that recording!)
And yes, I showed Noelle some pictures of my own daughter on my iPhone, mommy to mommy.