Dear Son…

I can’t wait to teach you all of the things my mother taught me.

It’s my job to give you everything I can and more, to leave it all on the field. That job — being there for you — is bigger than anything I’ve ever taken on. Bigger than competing for gold or the World Cup. Bigger than anything else.

I promise to push you to pursue your dreams, but never so much so that they cease to be yours. Your dreams are my dreams, not the other way around. Your path will be unique.

You’re going to experience pain. I promise to be there for you, to be strong with you. To help you learn, as I did, that you can beat pain, and make pain work for you. The harder you push yourself, the more you will win.

I promise to sit with you and wipe your tears when you suffer your first loss, just as my mother did for me.

I promise to stay up as late as it takes to wash your grass-stained jersey, and to wake up as the sun rises so I can prepare you for your game, just as my mother did for me.

I promise to teach you how to fight. How to fight for what you want, for what you deserve and for what you believe in, just as my mother did for me.

I’m missing the Olympics because I’m pregnant with you, and was recently asked how that made me feel. Here is what I said: it feels glorious. It feels like the greatest gift I could ask for, the opportunity to love so profoundly, with such purity. That love doesn’t encumber my life — it enriches my life. I feel thankful, I feel lucky. You are my gold now and you are more priceless than anything I can ever win.

I promise to model for you that love, the only type of love. That unbreakable, unquestionable type of love. The type of love you’ll want to show your child one day, just as my mother did for me.

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