Not Sacrifice – But Choice

The Olympics generally supply enough “feel good” stories to last until the next gathering of Olympians. This year will certainly prove to be no exception.

Already I have a favorite.

I first read this story as it was reported in the Washington Times in the article by the Associated Press.

Two sisters became the first Canadian siblings to medal in the same Olympic event in the same Olympics. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe had just won the silver medal and her 19 year old sister, Justine won the gold in the same event. Incredibly enough, their older sister Maxine also skied in the same event but did not place for a medal.

However, two of three medals in one event going to members of the same family in the same year is still not bad.

Here is the real story for me.

At the press conference following the awarding of the medals, the three sisters with their parents were center stage. Unable to fight back tears, Chloe seemed to speak for all three sisters as she spoke of the most important fans in their lives – their parents.

Chloe spoke of the three sisters and their parents sharing soup, family vacations and all her parents had done to give the three of them everything they needed to arrive at this incredible point in their lives.

The article stated, “Sitting next to them, their father Yves Lapointe was asked about the sacrifices he’d made to get them to that point. The engineer said he wouldn’t put things that way.
“It’s all about choices — what you want to do,” he said. “Sacrifices, I don’t think is the right word. Choice is much better.”
Yves Lapointe just won the “Dad” award if I was the judge for this years dad event.
Everything we do for our children and grandchildren should be our choice and never presented as a “sacrifice.” When we use the word, “sacrifice” it is as if by being parents we missed out on our lives because we have children.

Sacrifice carries the wrong message. Yet many parents convey the idea of their sacrifice to their children as if children are to blame for all we missed out on in life.
In addition to the poor message “sacrifice” sends to our children about our love for them, we are also sending the wrong message about the great gift God has given us in allowing us to be parents and grandparents.

Far too many parents seemingly tell their children in subtle ways, they could have had a much different and better life if they had not sacrificed so much for them.

Being a parent and a grandparent means God has trusted us with precious gifts – His children to be our children.

I want my kids and grandkids to know I did not sacrifice anything to be a dad or Papa. God blessed me in unimaginable ways, and everything I have been able to do has been my choice.

I also want my children to understand being a parent is a thrill. You do not have to sacrifice anything to be a parent. It is an incredible ride I would not have wanted to miss for anything else.

Thank you Yves Lapointe for your simple clarity and truth!

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