I guess everyone should know by now that the biggest news over the past weekend, and very probably the next few months, is the fact that Singapore won its first Olympics Gold Medal via Joseph Schooling.
That all is extremely amazing and no doubt an admirable achievement by the boy (can’t believe I am 12 years older), what hit me as even more admirable, is the often overlooked story of how his parents supported his ascent to the top.
If you have read some of the interviews with his parents, the below points might have struck you:
– They’ve spent more than $1 million of their own money on Joseph’s quest so far.
– In the past few years when Joseph (am I sounding like I am being too chummy with him?) was, and still is based in US, they only see him for a maximum of 3 weeks in a year.
– Personally going through lengths to appeal for their son’s NS deferment.
In all honesty, that is TRULY admirable.
And very naturally, I began to ask myself if I would do the same for my kids.
Now I come from a rather traditional family and my parents are those who value security and loyalty in jobs. Kinda old school, but probably not outliers for their generation.
If I had mentioned at 5 years old that I want to be a professional swimmer, I have no doubts that my parents would have tried to dissuade me by telling me tales that swimming to much makes one grow a third leg due to radiation, in a bid to sway me back to the ‘normal’ path.
But of course the definition of normalcy has gradually changed with time, and I would think that I am quite an open parent who will support all of my kids endeavours.
Until of course, a few months ago I asked Summer what she wanted to be when she grew up.
A year or so ago she gave fickle and not-too-practical answers, such as Princess Elsa from Frozen and Princess Celestial from My Little Pony, which we just laughed off.
But this time, she replied with a firm.
‘I want to be a baker!’
Umm. Not what I had in mind.
So I tried to check again. ‘You mean a BANKER? Work in banks like Papa and Mama?’
She sighed in exasperation and repeated, ‘BAKER! Make bread and cakes and muffins! You don’t know meh??’
Okay, point taken.
I thought it was just and passing phase but through the months she repeated it in fervent, and even asked to watch baking videos on YouTube. Which honestly is quite admirable for a 4 year old.
And then I slowly see that she really enjoys it. No doubt spurred on by the occasional baking lessons in school.
Ah well, what matters most are that our kids grow up happy with a passion of their own right?
So I encouraged her by telling her that I will soon find some stuff to start baking with her and also send her for kids baking lessons if I manage to find one.
Time to start saving for my own retirement!
Only half kidding.