Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cost of Dreams

Anyone else think about this watching the Olympics?
What drives parents to give so much for their child to be a champion? Seriously. The heart touching stories of mothers who "wore clothes with holes in them to afford my skating lessons" - that's from last night. Fathers who live separated from their child so the child can train in a place where there's not a job for dad.
I think we're supposed to get all misty-eyed from this dedication and sacrifice and yet I can't find that in me. All I keep thinking is, "Really? In what dictionary did you find that definition of "Family"?
I've known families with top-notch skaters and seen the schedule. Even in Northern Illinois ice time is rare and for single ice skaters comes at about 5 am. And all those years of training happen before they are 16 and can drive themselves. I had a friend tell a coach who wanted her elementary age daughter to increase her gym time to five evenings a week that that wouldn't be fair to her other children. The coach accused her of not wanting her daughter to be all she could be. My friend still said, "No."
And the costs? I know what it cost to just be on a plain ol' high school basketball or track team. So the teams which lead to Olympic teams? I can't even imagine.
Lizzy didn't get either of the mission trips which would've been basically paid for by the sponsors. Her summer schedule is very limited due to her brother's wedding in June, so her choices were severely limited, anyway. Part of me wants to step in and make her dreams of overseas missions come true. She's put in the work and time and I truly believe she's passionate about this and called. It is her dream. But . . . that's just not the way we've raised our kids. We've provided ample opportunities and experiences, but there comes a point where it's their dream to pursue and work out.
And our dreams do not come in second to theirs.
I guess that's the thing I wonder about most - am I just selfish to not put my kids dreams higher on my priority list? Are these Olympic parents the one's who have it right?


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thought provoking here.

It's a fine line, isn't it? I'm not so sure I agree with the schedules some of these elite athletes, and their families, keep.

But then again, I'm not them. It might work for them? But what is the cost? To me, the cost is too high. I'm just not driven enough to do something like that.

It does make me think, though, about the toll on the family unit. IT's already struggling these days, and to add that tension...seems like it'd be too much.

You got me thinkin'

Kay Dew Shostak said...

I'm always so glad when I make someone else think. Why should I be the only one thinking about all this stuff?
I worked with youth for years, and I've always been fascinated by the Family and how it supports, sabotages, and overall affects the members lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!