I’ll admit it. I cry in commercials. I also cry in movie trailers. I can go from rational to weepy in like 0.3 seconds. It comes with the hormones I think. And this Olympics – this time around as a mother to three with both sons full on living, breathing, swimming each lap along with the athletes, everything kicked into overdrive.

Except – in my mind – I’m not the athlete on the in the pool or on the field like I was a decade ago.

This time around I’m the mom in the stands.

My whole body aches with the glorious beauty of being present in that way for our kids. I am wild with the wonder of seeing a part of one’s self succeed – or more wildly – fail on such a public stage.

I watch and I’m moved because I think there’s this profound truth that seeps through the screen and is packaged so powerfully in these crazy little commercials that play on our emotions better than Adele. {click here if you can’t see the video}.

That little boy on the high dive? The high, high, high dive? About to throw himself at all life has; about to fall or fail or flail or hit the water? About to let go of everything he’s been preparing for? About to give his all and perhaps lose? About to be both braver and more afraid than he’s ever been?

That little boy’s expression and his mother’s reaction is all of parenthood told in a 0.5 second story.

Because we do. We hold our breath. We pray through the dark watches of the night. We berate ourselves, our parenting, the God who trusted us with these tiny  humans, the books that tell us what we should be doing differently, the habits we inherited from our own parents – we berate it all.

And still we believe. We believe in our kids so hard it hurts our bones.

And we beg the God who made them not to take them away.

We whisper our prayers and tell Him we believe He is good with one breath while pleading for the faith to believe it in the next.  This is our grown up lullaby and it rocks us through the bad dreams, the too-close-calls, the waiting-up-for-them-teenage years.

Fear – on purpose – is hardly what we’d normally choose. And kids – they come with their own set of brand new ways we need to learn to whack-a-mole fear and it’s companions panic and worry.

But, there they stand anyway. With their tippy toes gripping the edge of the high dive and we can watch with our eyes open or squeezed, terrified shut.

With everyone else all we can do is watch.

But we get to choose to do it eyes, hands, heart, wide open.