While watching the Olympics this week, I wonder about the athletes parents. Michael Phelps’ mom is always in the stands with the whole family cheering loudly, jumping for joy at each unimaginable accomplishment. Nastia Liukin’s father is her coach. Offering high fives and apparently saying there is only one color medal acceptable to the family (thank goodness she procured the right one).
But what really has me stumped, is how do these parents recognize the talent in their children (okay, well maybe it was easier for Nastia whose parents were excellent gymnasts in their own right)? How many of us were possible Olympic athletes or ground-breaking scientists or musical geniuses who weren’t aware of the potential within? Or is it a given that if you have the talent, it will somehow reveal itself? That this type of passion bubbles up to the surface whether someone taps the well or not?
Will I know what peanut’s hidden talents are? Will I recognize some kind of physical or mental prowess that I haven’t had experience with? What is the line between encouraging a hobby, talent, sport and pressuring? I have a hard enough time figuring out my own talents not to mention someone else’s.
I suppose I have some time to figure it out. Right now, peanut’s special talents include the noodle toss, nekkid baby hallway laps, and crib flop. Last time I checked, these aren’t Olympic medal worthy.