Over the last 2 weeks, I tried to watch every possible minute of the Olympics, as I am a sports junkie only once every 2 ½ years. This was no easy feat as, most of that time, I was sharing a single room (& television) with the 3 other people in my family while on vacation. So we all got a good dose of Olympic fever.
Last Thursday, Sabrina starting asking repeatedly to see Oscar. I was perplexed. Had she suddenly reignited her love for Sesame Street? And if so, how did the grouch get top billing over Elmo in her heart? Slowly, it dawned on me: she wanted to watch Oscar Pistorius run another race. I’d called her over when he was qualifying for the men's 400M race and explained that he was special because he didn’t have feet to run. I pointed out his prosthetic legs, which she dubbed “forks.” Apparently, my little lesson stuck n her head, and she wanted more. I told her he’d be running Friday night and we could watch him together.
Cut to Friday night and NBC’s wildly inconsistent scheduling. It got later and later, and still no coverage of the men’s 4x400M relay Pistorius was anchoring for South Africa. I finally told Sabrina it was time for bed. And she threw a FIT. “I want Oscar! I want Oscar!” she wailed, and suddenly, I spun into a flashback of epic proportions.
I don’t remember how old I was, maybe 6 or so, when one night, I’d seen an ad for Solid Gold (yes, I’m that old) and their special guest, Blondie. I was transfixed by Debbie Harry (or Blondie, since I thought that was her name and didn’t realize there was an entire band) and her electric blonde hair and I desperately wanted to see her perform. But the show was on way past my bedtime. And this being the age prior to VCRs and all recording devices that have come since, I didn’t have an option. My dear parents, seeing my sadness (or rather, seeking an immediate end to the dramatic shrieking I was engaging in), told me they would wake me up when Blondie came on. Mollified, I trotted off to bed.
Sometime later, I was dragged from my slumber and plopped in front of the TV, but I had no idea why. My folks stared at me encouragingly, all “we’re fulfilling your request, you ungrateful snot,” but I was in too deep a sleep haze at that point to register who they were, much less what I was supposed to be watching. At some point, I went back to bed and didn’t really recall a thing. No matter. I have been reminded of these shenanigans repeatedly since that day.
So I gave Sabrina an updated solution: I would record the race and we could watch it the next day. She, like me, then headed off to sleep, but unlike me, she somehow popped her head out of her room, completely awake, about 2 minutes before the race was set to start. We sat side by side on the couch and cheered on the man with the fork legs. And even though he pulled up the end, we were thrilled we got to see him run. She has asked me every day since when we’ll get to see him run again.
I hope I’ve taught her a little something about perseverance and courage. And I hope I’ve had enough payback to suit my mother.
(There is a massive post (or posts) coming about our trip. Stay tuned.)