Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let the Games Begin

We have a tradition in our family. A two-year-old tradition. Actually, we've only done it once, but we decided after that one time to make it a tradition.

Two years ago, at the Summer Olympics in Greece, our two oldest sons stayed up with us each and every night, stretched out on the floor with bowls of popcorn, and watched the games. To our surprise, they were quickly hooked, and actually started playing "Olympics" outside during the day. They set up various lawn and yard equipment in various patterns and had themselves hurdling, swimming, gymnastics, and so on. It was also a nice family time. Each evening, we spent really wonderful, quality time together.

So, here we are again, two years later. Only this time it is the Winter Games. And my boys are ecstatic. Sweep everything else from the calendar for the next few weeks, because we'll be busy watching downhill skiing, figure skating, and everyone's favorite-though-I-could-never-figure-out-why-it-is-called-a-sport event, bobsledding.

To have sports playing on the television each evening is an odd sight in our house. I've mentioned before that I really despise watching professional sports...football, baseball, hockey, curling. Yet, the Olympics are somehow different. Perhaps it is the excitement of pitting nearly every country in the world against one another. Perhaps it is the thrill of seeing the U.S.A. take most of the medals...again. Or, maybe it is just the fast-paced presentation on network television only showing the highlights. Whatever the reason, tomorrow my family will be there watching when they say, "Let the Games Begin."

But let me share a related story. Because this tradition actually started before I ever had kids...or even married. My family grew up had a tradition of watching the Opening Ceremonies together. The rest of the Olympics were hit and miss...but we didn't miss the big spectacular. (Anyone remember the Los Angeles Olympics where the UFO landed, and the big controversy about who posed for the anatomically correct male statue? Diver Greg Louganis, I believe it was.)

When I was in college, my folks decided to watch the Opening Ceremonies at my brother and sister-in-law's apartment. I had to work. A top executive in for Little Caesars. (Either that or an assistant manager of a local chain store...you pick which you find more interesting.) Anyhow, I was apparently driving with very low blood sugar. By the time I got there, I was totally out of it. I was functioning, but I have very little memory of anything going on. I remember my mom trying to force food into me, and myself just wanting to fall asleep on the couch. Needless to say, I missed most of the ceremonies, and I don't even remember much of what happened. But it was a scary moment. One of the few times in my life where my BGL had dropped so low that I actually have memory loss. It is scary to think I was driving in that state.

Anyhow, I'm sure that won't happen again.

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