When you think of Olympic heroes, you think of those gold-medal winning performances. That record-setting swim race. The lightning-fast relay. The nerve-wracking penalty kicks that resulted in goooooaalll, and victory.
But a new ad from Procter & Gamble puts the spotlight on an entirely different hero: The Olympic mom. The ones who got up earlier than everyone else to feed and drive their little athletes to pre-dawn practices for all those years. The ones who logged millions of miles chauffeuring to games and competitions; the ones who sat on the sidelines and in bleachers and cheered louder than anyone else.
For its “Best Job” commercial, the company created a two-minute tear-jerker filled with poignant scenes of moms from around the world playing their supporting roles in building world-class athletes, from the breakfast-making to the commuting, to the loads and loads of laundry.
There are scenes of heartache — the mom bandaging a child’s hurt foot, or the mom upset when her gymnast falls off a balance beam, as well as scenes of elation — the mom crying with pride as her child salutes her after winning a race.
But mostly, the scenes show the unwavering maternal devotion that every mom can relate to.
Because while only a tiny percentage of moms have kids who make it all the way to the Olympics, there are hundreds and thousands who do the same thing each day, with an end result that takes place on a much smaller stage — a little league game, or a local swim meet, or maybe a high school state championship. Even that’s rare.
The “Best Job” ad resonated with my own life. As a competitive youth tennis player for many years, my mom sacrificed numerous hours each week driving me and my older brother to practices and lessons, hitting balls with us, and giving guidance and advice (both solicited and unsolicited!). She spent weekends taking us to tournaments, where she'd sit in her lawn chair and read books as we waited for hours between matches. She’d make sure our water jugs were always filled and gave us pep talks before tough opponents, hugs after tough losses.
Life has come full circle because now I’m the one driving the carpool, making pre-game meals, washing uniforms, giving moral support, and rooting for my two kids in their athletic endeavors.
P&G’s ad has the tagline: "The hardest job is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom."
Having been on both sides, I couldn’t agree more.
(Full disclosure: Procter & Gamble is a sponsor of TODAY in London. Our tears at this commercial, though? Totally unsponsored.)
Join P&G in saying "Thank you, Mom" by sending your Mom a message of thanks at: http://www.facebook.com/thankyoumom
Do you know a great mom? Tell her you appreciate her with a cute e-card.
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