Gaining in both popularity and television time, the paraolympians amaze me. These athletes’ training comes with gargantuan effort and extra pain. Truth be told, all the athletes on the Olympic stage currently hold me spellbound.
This week, while this little guy has been so sick, we’ve watched more than curling and skating. Lots more tv than usual! When the skiers fly down mountains and the snowboarders careen easily through those half pipe runs, Tyler will ask, “Grandma, can you do that?” He giggles and I do too. Then, with his smile gone, he says, “Grandma, could you ever do that?” I respond, “No, bud, never could do that one.” He hugs me then and tells me he loves me. Who needs to be a downhill racing star? Not this lady. At least not anymore.
But going to kindergarten (1951)in a buckled corset and having to sit on the steps while the others raced around during recess was.
By fourth grade I was an easy out in kickball. If I did kick the ball at all, whoever got it could aim for my legs, so I often fell on the sand and gravel cinder playground. To the nurse’s office I’d go. Taking peroxide-filled gauze pads, she slowly tried to coax the tiny pieces of gravel out of the wound. My knee still has a scar from repeated falls.
But somewhere around 12, I discovered other things. People talked with me when they were nervous or felt left out. My parents sacrificed to see I received piano lessons. And a new pastor’s wife started a junior choir at church.
I also discovered how much I loved being a spectator, especially for soccer and basketball. I understood both games well enough to keep score and chart attempts on goal, rebounds, and assists. Without my personal “imperfects” I would have missed honing skills in areas I love even today. Whatever your imperfect, celebrate the avenues that opened to you as a gift.