Farm Progress

As parents, we have the excruciating privilege of having a front row seat to the hearts and lives of our children.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

March 1, 2018

2 Min Read
LA Times

The Winter Olympics have been the centerpiece of our evenings this month, at least when we’re not at basketball games, practicing spelling words, selling nachos in a school concession stand, or attending a million other activities. It’s a good thing life is slow in a small town (that’s sarcasm, by the way).

The United States took 244 athletes (135 men, 109 women) to Pyeongchang, South Korea. By far my favorite part is not the competition, but the stories behind the athletes competing. To understand the true value of the victory, you have to know the background, the struggle, the journey, the sacrifice.

Some of my favorite moments were watching Hungary win their first Winter Olympic gold in 500 meter speed skating, and break a record while doing it. First ever! What that must have felt like for that young man to bring home his country’s first medal.

Or how about Shaun White? Competing in his fourth Olympics, he won gold —  his third. He’s a veteran when it comes to winning, but his reaction to this Olympic victory was so heartfelt. I mean, he embraced his mother and cried his eyes out, for heaven’s sakes! Four months prior, this young man who seemed invincible, had a horrible accident while snowboarding that required 62 stitches in his face, including his tongue. If you haven’t seen the video of his crash, it’s online. I am amazed by his courage to get back on his board and then to sweep the gold — so inspiring.

And then the U.S. women’s hockey team upsetting Canada, 3-2, in a game-winning shoot-out, earning the team their first gold since 1998. I can’t get enough of it! I love a good underdog, comeback story.

But as I watch the Olympic Games, athletes achieving victory and experiencing loss, I can’t help but think of their mothers, what they must be experiencing as they watch their children compete on the world’s stage.

My kids tease me every time a skater falls or a skier crashes, because my first thought — and often comment — whether it’s the Olympics or otherwise, is: “I’ll bet their mother’s heart is just breaking for them.”

As parents, we have the excruciating privilege of having a front row seat to the hearts and lives of our children. We know, better than anyone, what it took, what’s been sacrificed, the tears that have been shed, the prayers that have been lifted, for our kids to be where they are and to get where they are going — whether in victory or loss, first place or last. It can be heart-wrenching, and yet so incredible all at the same time.

Many thanks to our American athletes for two weeks of inspiring stories, stiff competition, and incredible victories — and to the moms and dads who have whispered in their ears, “You can do it!”

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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