Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Worst aunt ever.

On Friday night, I had my nieces and nephew over for a slumber party and decided that we should watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. I thought it would be a fun way to spend the evening with them because I LOVE the Olympics and I wanted to get them all hyped up about them, too. So I thought we'd watch it and I'd "oooooo" and "aaaaaaah" about all the athletes and maybe we'd see some cool shots of skiing or ski jumping and they'd think it was the coolest thing ever. And they'd be inspired by all the stories of the athletes who had worked so hard to earn the chance to represent their country and they'd go home with memories of watching the Olympics with me and with a shared passion for all things Olympic. So I got them all excited as we sat down with our macaroni and cheese and corn dogs and turned on the TV with great anticipation.

And there were the Olympic rings. There was the NBC Olympics anthem. And there was my man Bob Costas - back in my living room after a 2 year hiatus. We were ready to see skiing. We were ready to see snow boarding. We were ready to see what crazy opening ceremony the Canadians had planned. We were listening closely to Bob, with big smiles on our faces. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then Bob tells us that someone has died during the practice runs on the luge course.

Okaaaaaaay . . . I hadn't planned for that.

There was an understandable buzz in my living room and a corresponding look of confusion on all the kids' faces. This was not what I had promised them. This was not the inspirational event that they were expecting. Then, to make matters worse, I somehow missed the warning about the fact that they were going to actually show footage of the guy dying. So, suddenly, after I've hyped up these Olympics as the most awesome thing EVER, we're watching this guy flying off the luge course to his death.

[Gulp] I hadn't planned for that, either.

So now I'm doing damage control - trying to minimize any psychological scarring I've just inflicted upon them while simultaneously trying to salvage the reputation of the Olympics in their eyes. But it wasn't working. When NBC finally DID show us some people doing cool stuff like the ski jump, the kids didn't comment on how cool it was. Rather, they looked concerned and said "Oooooooh! Someone could DIE on that one - right, Catchy?" And then we saw a clip of an American athlete crying after winning gold in the last Olympics and they said "Why is she crying, Catchy? Did someone die?" I realized at that moment that I had single-handedly ruined the Olympics for them so, in one last effort to win them back, I tried my best to re-focus them on something OTHER than death:

Ben (5): Why is she crying, Catchy? Did someone die?
Me: No, she's proud. She's so so proud.
Avery (4): Why is she so proud?
Me: Because she worked REALLY hard and she won a gold medal for America. So she's just really happy right now.
Kids: [silence]
Me: [sensing I've said something really profound and inspirational that I should capitalize on . . .] You know, if you're an Olympic athlete, you have to work REALLY hard. And you can't give up. You have to just keep on trying and trying and you get better and better and then you can win a gold medal!
Savannah (7): But Catchy - I don't want to be in the Olympics. I don't wanna die til I'm like 100. [looks at me very seriously as if to make sure I fully understand her] I want to save my life.

Yep - I've scarred them for life.

It's official . . . I'm the worst aunt ever.


Unknown said...

I was there and it was hilarious!

Unknown said...

I was going to say that the kids are beginning to sound a little Nora-esque.

Emma said...

Hysterical!!! We'll have to remember that one!

Erin said...

Catherine..this was even more fun to read. Omg...i am just cracking cracking cracking up. the gulp part was so dang funny. lOVE IT.