Slalom Ski racer

“Champions are made when no one is watching.” – Unknown

“Dad, we didn’t pick up our medals. Can we go get them?” my son asks my husband the other week on the ski mountain.

“Sure,” my husband answers, with a slight exhausted flicker of his eyes. He looks out at the pouring rain and over to his soaked ski jacket hanging on the back of his cafeteria table chair. He hopes they can pick up their medals at either this lodge or the other one at the base of the mountain, but feels they will have to go back up the mountain to the top of the race course.

They walk to the service desk in this lodge. No medals.

They don jackets and walk over to the other lodge. No medals.

They come back into the lodge and proceed to put on all of their gear. They are heading to the top of the mountain – in the rain – in the pouring rain.

“We’ll be back,” my husband says as he wearily leans over to give me a kiss.

They leave, put on skis, shuffle to the ski lift at the other lodge, ride the chair lift, ski to the top of the race course, pick up their medals and then of course, race down the mountain. (‘Cuz if a race course is there, it must be raced.)

Less than an hour after they left, we are all together again and getting ready to leave the mountain as it is raining even harder.

Medals are in hand. My son is happy. All is well.

Not so fast, though, as it happens, my husband is sick. That exhausted flicker of his eyes is an early warning sign of the flu – a bad one. The same one that led to his emergency room visit.

Now I think back to the moment my son asks my husband about the medals. I know my husband cares very little about medals and awards, so he has zero personal desire to retrieve them. He had taken his weary and sick body out into the pouring rain for his son – to get medals – he doesn’t care about – at all.

As parents, the question is not what would we do for our children, the question is: what wouldn’t we do?

Parents are the champions who are made when no one is watching.

We are champions when:

  • We care for the baby who cries throughout the night – for weeks and weeks
  • We pull our toddler in a wagon around the children’s ward for hours on end
  • We struggle to pick our sick bodies up to care for our children
  • We remain silent during their tantrums
  • We find the good humor to laugh at their terrible jokes
  • We keep calm during their fighting and bickering
  • We remain positive during their moody and surly teenage years

We bathe, feed, tuck, cuddle, smile, talk, cook, clean, shop, drive, laugh, coach, teach, love, love even more and then love even more than that.

Then, we let go so they can grow fully into themselves.

Parents are champions. Parents are CHAMPIONS.

Parents deserve medals.

Parents deserve accolades.

Parents deserve parades.

Parents are the champions who are made when no one is watching.


As always, I am humbled by parents everywhere.