Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Love

So I remember watching the Olympics when I was a kid-amazing memories, knowing in advance that the next year would be the Olympic year (when the Winter and Summer Olympics were in fact held in the same year ). Sitting in the family room with my Dad for sure, and perhaps my mom as well...sometimes my brother ( in the summer, when not at boarding school ) and  cousins and mostly the memories of the athletes themselves and the story of how they got to where they were. The memories are as much about a family process as they are the Olympics themselves. The fanfare, the celebration, the heartbreak. ( remember, these were the glory years as well of Wide World of Sports )

Somehow, over the years, it changed a bit...Maybe it started when the Winter and Summer Olympics were split up, and the Olympics were technically held every two years. Maybe it was when the medal count and the race for who was more of a super power in every arena was less of a focus ( Russia Vs. USA ) Maybe it was when the networks edited the hell out of the events, and you watched what stories they wanted you to see...Whatever it was, it began to become less of an event in the years to come. 

Here we are today. Now, as the step mother of 3, it is the first time we are together for the Summer Olympics. For some reason, this year, as life seems to, the Olympics have a different meaning. How is it that the world truly is different through a child's eyes and with children in your life? Is it knowing that you they are seeing things in a way that is pure, unedited and true? 
Is it an attempt to recreate the best of your own childhood, and recreate things that were less then you had hoped? Is it the ability to truly experience a family process, with all of us piled on the couch and the floor? 

Whatever it is, I want to experience it all with them, as a family. In wanting that, I must tell them, and let those thoughts and hopes be known.
 I want us all to watch, to cry, to experience the joy of the victory and the agony of defeat.
 To know that you can be anything you want to be and to follow your dreams..I want them to know the world around them and all of the young people around the world that have worked to hard to get here. To see family and coaches and who put themselves out there for something other then themselves. 
I want to stop time, and turn off the nightly Disney shows in the playroom and gather round..I want everyone to know this is special, this only happens every four years and that this is a small window into the emotions and experience of life. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

For four plus years I have been having this conversation. With myself, my husband and my therapist. The only difference is, I am the not the ex. 

From the first time we met, there was the same chilly stare, ignoring me completely. The next stage were the insults and the request for a bio, and the implication of any kind of wrong doing possible. Through out these stages, I tried to be myself, kind, simple and making the best of a situation none of us had living through the separation of their family, adults living through hurt and failed marriages, divorce, the loss of the extended family members, and incredible pain and sadness. 
In my mind, I never imagined the end of my own marriage, truly falling and being in love in my late 30s, step parenting and an ex wife that wanted nothing to do with healing and moving on. 
I thought to myself, that at some point, we would all have a shared view of what life was like as adults who were not meant to spend a life time together, that knew deep down that they were their better selves with a different life partner. That the love for three amazing kids would allow them to come together and put everything else aside. 

I thought about writing this post, I thought about writing to her. 
Now, what comes to mind, and I hope comes to mind many more times in the future is as follows

I forgive. I forgive for the hurt we are all feeling, for the love that I know you must have inside of you and for the pain you must feel. I forgive as we are all human, and I know my own need for recognition and kindness is not the most important need. 
In forgiving, I want to be the person who loves, is compassionate and acts with grace. 
I want to experience the love story we have found, every day. 

Photo courtesy of Sam