Now I remember what it is that feels so familiar about the Summer Olympics. It was this time of year four years ago that they last rolled around. It was August 2004 when I also went into labor.
That first night after my water broke, I felt cramps in waves and I laid awake on the couch trying to do the impossible (ignore them). Late at night, I watched the great San-Francisco-y movie “Dopamine” and I remember it as the drug it felt like.
The following night, we felt more festive and turned on the Olympics to compare people’s extraordinary physical feats with what I was going through in my body. The day after that, Lucy arrived. Though no party, labor was nearly marvelous (I say with the miraculous blog-ability of four years hindsight).
In those first couple of years before Lucy could verbalize as much as she can now, her birthdays seemed like testaments to us making it through another year together. Now they are growing with an abundance of her own special characteristics. But there are those moments I look back to those nights of labor and wonder at that line of demarcation between then and now.
These particular Olympics and their attendant controversy (come on, there is always that) are not nearly the point. The athletes themselves form a band around the world, in their exquisitely practiced form so unearthly yet commonplace, and we all feel like we could be one of them – or they could represent us all. Not so much one country against another, but a union. There are some things that all of us have done.
Lucy watched two Olympic dives tonight (which is all of what I’ve managed to catch so far as well) and then proceeded to demonstrate everything that she could do too – just like while watching the Cirque du Soleil, when she dragged her stool out, got up on it, and cried about how much she too wanted to fly.
As Lucy herself said once, “I’m your special, mama.” She makes everything so common and so singularly unique – nothing felt like this before those Olympics four years ago. Just like she is, I’m still working on it and still get to wonder all the time. If birth were an Olympic sport…