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Friday, February 7, 2014

Coincidentally...


By pure chance, the box I opened a few minutes ago ties in perfectly with major events happening this very minute, on the other side of the earth.

I love serendipitous moments like these!

The box contains a few things from my childhood and teens, including a photo capturing a moment almost exactly thirty years ago.

In case you haven’t heard--and this is unlikely, but I’m hedging my bets--today is the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I’m not as obsessed with the Olympics as my dad is. He’s probably already on the couch, watching pre-ceremony coverage until the Opening Ceremony is broadcast four hours from now. He loves it that much. I like the Olympics, too, of course. I’m not hugely competitive or a giant sports fan, but the pageantry, the patriotism, the spirit of the games—I love that stuff.

The first Olympics I remember were the 1984 games, which were held in my home town of Los Angeles. Dad was beside himself with glee, and he and Mom went to several events, including the Closing Ceremony. Olympic fever swept over the city. In my fourth grade class, we spent a lot of time reading about the Olympics, their history, and details about the various events. I remember coloring the five interlocking circles that make up the Olympic symbol. I believe we actually had tests on the Olympics, too!

In 1984 I was ten. Up until that point, I hadn’t had direct connection with major international events, so the Olympics landing practically in my back yard must have felt mind-bogglingly thrilling. The Olympics made an impression so big that I kept things linked with it. I don’t have a lot of toys left over from my childhood. But I have mementos from the Olympics three decades ago. Today I happened to open a box where I’ve kept those items from the summer when I was ten. I love the coincidence of opening that box today, mere hours before the Opening Ceremony. In that box are a flag, a button and a bumper sticker, all from the 1984 Olympics in LA.






 
I remember posing with Sam the Eagle and my little sister as my parents took a photo. It’s one of the photos I have up at home. It’s such a sweet moment: my sister and I are grinning as we get a hug from the Olympic mascot. I look at ease. I’m not fixing my hair before the photo. I’m just a kid who smiles when the camera comes out. My innocence is captured in that photo. Adults don’t have that same freedom in photos. We’re too busy wondering whether we look good, whether the camera will get our best side, whether our hair is right, whether we’re squinting, whether our teeth look white enough, whether we’re smiling enough or too much, whether we simultaneously look not too posed but just posed enough, natural but still at our best, whether we’re lifting our chins enough, whether we’re slouching, whether our roots show, etc, etc, ETC! I love that as a child I didn’t have those concerns as I grin at the camera. I was too much in the moment, which is just as it should be.

What fun that I found these mementos today. It’s a happy walk down memory lane. I love connecting with the kid I was back then.

Another Olympics is starting in a few hours. It’s exciting. Fasten your seatbelts and let the games begin!  

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