Our family felt the grief as event after event was postponed or canceled. They were all things we had looked forward to… soccer games, trips, and even watching the Summer Olympics.
After watching the Disney movie, “Cool Runnings,” during a family movie night (aren’t all nights movie nights now?), we decided to take matters into our own hands and host our own Olympics.
My boys spent the week planning out events, making medals, and even practicing bobsledding. We each picked our team name and made shirts to show our team spirit. The opening ceremonies kicked off a weekend full of fun as we carried a torch (that I am still not sure was safe) up our street and into our backyard to our fire pit. But what happened next was something I never expected.
The first event was track and I am proud to say that I took home my first (and only) gold. We decided to do commentary with interviews and, as I began posting to social, I realized how many people were following our games. Friends and family were cheering for us from a distance and waiting for me to post results from the next event. My boys took turns interviewing winners and I laughed until I cried at their answers. My neighbors even got in on the action (from a distance) as they cheered for us from their yards. I started getting messages thanking our family for giving them something to look forward to again.
After two days of events, we ended with a trampoline contest and as my husband did a routine to “Ice, Ice Baby,” I realized how under normal circumstances, none of this would have ever happened.
Yes, we would be making memories as a family in different ways, but not like this. We wouldn’t have worked together for hours creating our own Olympics. We wouldn’t have raced around our block or stood on a podium in our front yard as the national anthem played in the background. I won’t ever have this unique time with my family again.
I still feel sad at times about all of the things that were canceled this spring. But I also feel thankful. Thankful that the Brown Family Quarantine Olympics happened. After the games, my 8-year-old prayed this prayer and I think he summed it up for our whole family: “God, thank you for the Olympics. I had the best day being together with my family. Thank you.”
Amanda Brown is local outreach coordinator at Grace Fellowship Church.