I enjoy the Summer Olympics. This is something I look forward to every four years. Nowadays, I stay up late at night and watch again at dawn to check Canada's medal standings. Go Canada!!
When it comes to sports, I am a very excitable spectator. My kids know this well. I cheer, I scream, I beat my hand on the couch... I could be watching anything--basketball, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, even what my boys say is the most boring game in the world--curling.
"Mom, the neighbours can hear you."
"Mom, what was that?"
"Mom, you're not allowed to watch sports."
"How can you watch a game without getting excited?" I retort. It's like sneezing without a sound. Not fun!
When Michael Phelps won gold in one swimming event, a TV station played back his mom's wild cheering at the the stands.
"See? That's what moms do!" I said.
"But he's not your son, Mom!" my boys said. Imagine if he were my son. You wouldn't want to sit next to me.
Sometimes I make the game more exciting to watch by rooting for the losing team. I like to see the underdog catch up and take the lead.
For instance, when the USA Redeem Team played against China, at the start I was cheering for the US basketball team although I'm not an NBA fan. "They're our neighbours," I said. When the US started leading, I shifted to China. "Come on, China!!!" My boys, who were busy playing on the computer, were more interested in reacting to me, rather than in watching what was happening on TV.
"OH NOOO!!! My team is losing!!" I said.
"What do you expect, Mom? You want the losing team," Markus said, somewhat befuddled.
Unless Canada's in the game, I don't really care much about which team wins. So I change sides depending on how I feel about the athletes, or who's winning or losing.
Although I may enjoy a game, it doesn't mean I understand how it's played. So I could be cheering for the wrong reason. Or, the wrong team.
"Mom, do you know what you are cheering about?" one of my boys would ask. No, not all the time. Does it matter? I'm not betting on any one.
It could take only a few minutes of watching a game to get me into a cheering mode as if I were a long-time fan. Then commercial break comes, I change the channel, and forget all about it.
This Olympics, I learned to whistle with my two fingers between my lips. A close-up of a whistling lady was flashed on the arena's huge screen, and I thought I could learn to do that, too. That got me started. Shwooo, shhooo, shwoooo... my whistles sounded airy and pathetic. I kept trying and trying, annoying the boys in the process.
"Mom!" Gabriel and Markus complained.
"I'm learning to whistle," I said. "You should learn something new every day." Whistling with my fingers is the new thing I will learn today.
After many attempts, I finally succeeded in producing a real, though faint, whistling sound. Whooot...
"Yay, I did it!!" I blurted. Every time Canada came out to play, I whistled with my fingers, though not always successfully.
"Mom, that's sad. That's why Canada is losing," my boys teased me.
Eventually, I got better at it. Whoooot... Still not consistently good, but getting there.
"Hah! You're just envious because you can't whistle," I tease my boys.
The Summer Games will be closing soon. My cheers will die down. But I will continue practicing my Olympic whistle. It will be better in 2012! Whoot! Whooooot!