When I was born, Mom and Dad both had good jobs.
Even if it was back when some women were starting to keep their careers after giving birth, they decided together that Mom would stay home to raise me, and then my little brother.
This meant depending only on Dad’s salary, but it was a sacrifice they were willing to make to see us grow up, and not let others teach us to walk, and talk, and all these little things that happen in the first years of any child’s life.
Because of that, they were always on a tight budget. I remember Mom placing the groceries in order of importance in front of the cashier, asking to stop at a certain amount of money, ready to leave behind the little extras she might not afford.
But one thing they always found money for, was an after-school class. They really wanted us to learn stuff we really enjoyed. So each year, they sat down with little bro and I, and we went through the list of classes available. I took many swimming classes (no wonder I’m pisces), painting lessons, and one year, I decided to go for figure skating.
It was a bit of an odd choice.
I was a good skater, but I was fairly overweight. I definately didn’t have the average figure skater’s silhouette. Despite that, Mom and Dad never tried to make me change my mind.
I liked figure skating? I’d train as a figure skater, as long as I’d wish to…
The only thing they asked, in return, was that we put our hearts into what probably cost them the occasional night out together.
I loved figure skating. And I worked harder than most of the other kids in my skating class. Which in time, made my teacher select me for a regional competition.
I was ecstatic! At the age of six, I felt like I was going to the Olympic Games. (yeah, yeah, yeah… you can chuckle, Trina) I was finally going to get a real figure skating dress, and perform in front of someone else than Mom.
The day came, and we drove to the city where the competition took place. It really was like a mini vacation. One of the first time we slept in a hotel, we ate at the restaurant which was quite exceptional and I felt like a princess.
Mom and Dad believed in me so much, that I really thought I had a shot. I was visualizing walking up the steps to get my medal. Looking back at six years old me, I wouldn’t have bet I on myself.
But they did, anyway.
The arena was packed and I my heart skipped a beat as I stepped on the ice, in my burgundy dress.
The lights dimmed out, the music started playing, and I gave my best performance, gliding and swirling as gracefully as my little chubby self could do.
The audience greeted me with a good round of applause, and I went waiting for the results, with the traditional bouquet of flowers from my overly proud parents.
When the judges confirmed they had come to a decision, I stood just by the rink’s entry, ready to skate my way to the podium.
And the bronze medal goes to….
I hugged and kissed Mom and rushed on the ice to get my award.
Only to find out, some time later, that there were only two of us competing in our category, that night. Which probably meant that I really wasn’t that good.
But who cares?
Mom and Dad believed in me… And they still do. And I sure am thankful for that.
Believe in your kids, even if they’re unlikely to succeed. It makes such a difference. And even if they don’t make it to the top, they will remember you backed them up.