Sunday, February 28, 2010

I woke up in the middle of the night hearing someone cry out, "Mommy!" When I went downstairs, everyone was sleeping soundly. I am still unsure if they cried out in their sleep (how horribly embarrassing for a teenager to cry "Mommy!" unless they vomit or want money) or if I had a dream. So now it is the middle of the night, and I am wide awake.

Typically, I would just watch bad TV for an hour or two, but I feel the need to write something, anything to avoid watching TV because I feel that I should be watching the olympics. As a kid, the olympics took up every moment that I was not sleeping or in school. I went to bed at night dreaming of being Peggy Fleming with long flowing dark hair in a chiffon skirt gliding across the ice. I begged my mom for ice skating lessons, and she supported my dreams. THANKS MOM! Unfortunately, I have weak ankles and a fear of falling, so it was pretty obvious that I would never go to the olympics. But I still watched. After Peggy, there was Dorothy. I always wanted the haircut. Next came Debbie. I actually met Debbie Thomas at a wedding. She was so tiny that it is hard to believe she was able to jump and spin with such fierceness. For the record, I said something clever like "Hi" but not with an exclamation point because I was trying to play it cool.

But once I had children, I did not have the luxury of spending hours in front of the TV for 2 weeks watching kids in sparkly outfits skate. So I settled for the highlights. As the girls got older, they were never bitten by the olympic bug. The upside is that I never had to shell out money for ice skating lessons for my children who inherited their mother's weak ankles. Living in Missouri without a nearby ski resort also keeps my children from participating in any sport featured in the winter olympics. But then I watched curling. For those not in the know, a plate-sized disk is heaved out on the ice and teams frantically sweep the ice in front of it to keep it moving as far as possible.

Being from Minnesota, I recognize this for what it is- a game that a bunch of drunk guys made up after they dropped their last fishing line into the lake while ice fishing. Rather than go home to their crabby wives, they devised a game to kill time while they drank more beer out on the ice. I know that most women reading this will not believe that a bunch of guys would have a broom in the fishing hut, but brooms actually work pretty well when its cold and the snow is light. Curling is probably the only sport that my children would be able to do at the olympics.

Only a few moms will get up every morning at 4 am to drive their children to the ice skating rink, shell out big bucks for the coaches, ice time and costumes, and support their children's dreams with everything they have. I think I have what it takes to show that kind of dedication to the sport of curling. I am willing to buy each of them a top of the line broom, move furniture so they can sweep rapidly without interruption, always hold the dust pan when they are finished, drive occasionally to competitions, and get a haircut and a cute new Nordic-looking sweater to wear when the camera pans in on me, the cheering supportive mom. I am ready to start immediately. It's 4 am; now all I have to do is find the broom.

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