OK Mommy, you can do it!
(photo: Ewan Nicholson)
So, here I find myself across the globe half a million miles away from my 2-year old daughter, Anika- again. The last time I was away for this long and this far away was for the Commonwealth Games in India last fall. I really can’t tell at this stage what kind of impact it has on her; all I know is that it seems to have a harder impact on me than on her at this point. Thank goodness. I have no problem if Anika can give me a kiss and hug and send me off on my way without a tear, this actually makes it a lot easier on me. She knows Mommy always comes back, and she knows that Mommy went to “run track”. She also knows that this time when I’m away she’ll get to see Grandma and Grandpa and the ducks and the beach and the garden and she’ll get to feed the fishies….but first she’ll see Grandma Choquette and Aunt Julie and the two doggies that will be sad if she eats their food again (and she can go on with the list of exciting adventures that await her).
So why does it make me so sad and worried every time I leave? A couple of weeks without being around isn’t going to harm her; heck – she’s little Miss Independence now. She doesn’t even think she needs Daddy to take her on the plane to go see Grandma: “Go on the plane ALLLLLL by myself!”
I’m grateful for being able to do what I’m doing now, following my passion as an athlete and having a family to join and support me on this journey with me. The career as an amateur athlete is not long, and we never know if an injury or misfortune will take us out of the game before we choose to go for our own free will.
I guess, like Anika, I need to learn to seize the moment, to be Miss (or Mrs.) Independence and take on the new adventures one at a time! Already, at the age of two, this little person understands that we can’t hold her hand every step of the way. Here I am in South Korea, preparing for the World Championships- to take on the best in the world, and all I want is for my little girl to say, “It’s OK Mommy, you can do it (and you can let go of my hand now)”!