Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - November 25, 2011


Wanting the best vs. wanting just to walk

Dear Editor,

I found it so disturbing to read last week (Nov. 18) on one page about parents competing to have their children be better than the next and on the other page a story about a young Pleasanton girl recently paralyzed from an accident. I have lived in Pleasanton for 31 years and saw how competitive it could be. But it was even more disturbing because I have a daughter who was paralyzed in 1998 almost in the same way Katie was. This daughter was asked at age 14 to play on a well-known competitive, traveling league. My late husband and I discussed it and decided it would take away from the rest of the family so we told her she could not. She was paralyzed the next year.

Love your kids, let them play, let them be kids, because you don't know when "life" will add or take away something you took for granted. I raised my three daughters in that neighborhood where the author lives and they are grown with college degrees, but there is a lesson here big time. We all want or wanted the best for our kids but not at the expense of robbing them of their childhood. My daughter was robbed at 14 and Katie now, but it doesn't stop them from achieving amazing things. My daughter is a USC grad and working on a web page making travel for disabled accessible and enjoyable.

How sad I feel for these parents who put such importance in who got the best teacher, the best shoes, the best team, made the best shot, when all Katie's parents, I'm sure, and I want for our daughters is to be able to walk.

Elaine Olson


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