When I look at gymnast and Olympic hopeful, Simone Biles, I see my infant daughter--the untapped potential, the world that is so incrediby open to her young life, the possibilities, her future. When I hear her mother's voice in P&G's new Raising an Olympian campaign, I hear my own mother and my abuela too.
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I hear my abuela in her thick accent telling me over and over that I could do anything in the world if I put my mind to it. I hear my mother telling me how important it was to do well in school, to do the very best I could do at everything I did. I hear myself telling my perfectionist 4-year-old son the same. Though my second child, my daughter, is just seven months old, I'm already mentally preparing myself for the unique challenges of getting this same message through to a girl, and hoping it lasts her a lifetime.
As I listen to Mrs. Biles explain the importance of teaching your children to make the right decisions, of listening to them, and allowing them to dream big. I feel the effort it must take to maintain that kind of hope for your children, to never stifle their dreams. Knowing how challenging life can be, knowing the obstacles they'll face, but still being able to remain positive and encouraging, that's stellar parenting.
To know that Simone's mom has done this and so much more--she's raised a champion, a celebrity athlete, an utter success--and yet still isn't 100 percent confident in her motherhood, is humbling. I relate to her, for a moment, I feel like I am her. We are all in this together. And maybe, just maybe those of us who doubt how well we are doing as parents, are the ones who care enough to guide our children into success. Maybe all it takes is belief. Belief in yourself, belief in your children, belief in hard work. That I can do. I can believe.
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