Do I want my kids to be olympians? At one time I thought that I did. Brad and I were married in 1997, so it was probably during the 1998 or 2000 Olympics that I thought how great it were if our kids found something to excel in and could compete in the Olympics. I wanted them to have a chance to "Be all they could be" and at the time since I was in the middle of my college career I was under the impression that to be the best you could be you needed to be athletic or have a great career.
Since that time I have struggled with that concept. I've had my kids enrolled in gymnastics, ballet, gymnastics, clogging and gymnastics again. They seem to like gymnastics the best, yet that doesn't mean they are on the road to gold. After listening to an interview with an Olympics gymnast where they talked about the discovery of her gymnastics ability at age 6 and the dedication to her sport since then my kids are far from the path that leads to the Olympics. I was scrapbooking this page of my girls in ballet and the girls couldi't even remember being in ballet. Yes, that was six years ago, and they were only 5 and 3. When I realized how little they remembered from their younger years my first thought was, "Why did I spend all that money on ballet classes and costumes." Well, no use beating myself up about it, however I could have used the money in more productive ways, but at the time I was still under the mistaken belief that I wanted my girls to become "olympians" or at least "great and famous" in whatever they did.
Personally my struggles have been learning to find fulfilment in my role as a wife and mother. I never really new why I was going to college, other than because after graduating as valedictorian from high school you were supposed to go to college. As a college student your goals are centered around preparing to get a great job, and take your place in society. I was lucky that when I got married I realized that even if I only left the work force to raise 1 child to age 6 I would practically have to start all over again in my career since I was a Computer Science Major. I was blessed to find a degree in General Studies and and wonderful Mentor and Counselor in Dr. Bitterwolf. He encouraged me in taking the kind of classes that I wanted to take, ones that would prepare me for the the role I knew that I really wanted, that of a wife and mother. However, although I was in classes like Child Development, Education, and Communications I still struggled with the thoughts of I should be preparing for a paying "Career". I got a great college degree, and learned a lot about life, but at what expense, $400 a month for the next 10+ years of my life. College is a tough lesson, even now.
When I started researching homeschooling I found this wonderful article by Diane Hopkins called "A College Degree for Girls? I don't think so. An Education? Why, of Course!" (More I Love Homeschooling Volume 2 by Diane Hopkins) She explains in this article how I felt while I was in college and gives some great ideas for alternative ways to get a great education and be prepared to take our rightful place in society as wives and mothers.
Now that the Olympics has rolled around once more I have taken the chance to reflect on the change in my attitudes over the past 10 years. I do want my children to succeed, to be happy, but most of all I want them to be prepared for the Celestial Kingdom and as President Hinckley said, "Women, for the most part, see their greatest fulfillment, their greatest happiness in home and family." (Teaching of Gordon B. Hinckley p387) I don't want my children to be famous, I don't want them to be dedicated athletes, I want them to be christians who are dedicated to serving the Lord, and prepared to raise a family, and fulfil whatever mission in life the the Lord calls them to serve.