Will the Olympics ever end?Published 12:06am Friday, August 24, 2012
Ever since the Olympics, life in the Hillyer house has become nothing but a series of medal events.
The only difference between the 2012 Hillyer Olympics and that other event across the pond is that there is only one competitor in our house.
Anyone who has a 3-year-old knows that life is already a race — not a marathon but a series of sprints, that seem never ending.
It was that way before the Olympics started several weeks ago. Now that the games are over, my son views his normal running and jumping in the house as something more.
At first I didn’t realize how much attention Gibson was paying to the spectacle.
The first night of the opening ceremonies, he showed little enthusiasm for the pomp and circumstance. The music, the stage and the flashing lights couldn’t compete with his collection of trucks and cars on the floor. Even the promise of fireworks at the end of the show couldn’t keep him interested after the hour-and-a-half parade of nations into the London stadium.
There was no Olympics fever in my little one that night.
In fact, it didn’t appear as if he was ever going to catch the bug — even after watching swimming, gymnastics and a few of the early events on the computer with his dad.
Seconds into each event Gibson pleaded not for more competition but for his favorite Netflix shows — Blue’s Clues, Fireman Sam or Shawn the Sheep.
As someone who might be classified as an Olympics nut, watching my son turn his back on the games was downright disappointing.
Then something subtle changed. It was so subtle that I didn’t even recognize it when it happened.
Was it the equestrian event, was it the fencing or was it the track and field events? I am not sure.
Even though he seemed to be showing little interest in what was happening on the screen, the Hillyer house was slowly transforming into a makeshift Olympic stadium.
I realized this the other day when Gibson, crouched in the kitchen and said, “On your mark, get set, go!”
Instantly he leapt into action running past the refrigerator and speeding down the hallway into his bedroom.
“What is he doing?” I wondered as he continued a series of small sprints through the house.
It turns out he was getting in to the starting blocks and running his own version of the 100m dash — over and over again.
After realizing this I started noticing other makeshift medal events in our house. I couldn’t tell if he was mimicking the horses in the equestrian events that were jumping various fences and pools of water or if he was imitating the pole vaulters who pushed themselves over the high bar and landing in a air cushion, but Gibson has spent a lot of time flinging himself into the pillows of our king-sized bed these past few days.
If my wife hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known that walks around the block have suddenly turned into hurdle events.
The one thing that the Hillyer Olympics hasn’t had is an actual medal ceremony. Gibson has yet to raise his hands in triumph and/or sing the words of the national anthem. Forget all that frou-frou stuff, bring on the competition.
Now life in our house is just a series of sprints and hurdles. It is enough to make this dad wonder when the games will be over.
Ben Hillyer is the design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.