Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for February, 2014


It’s been an interesting week for me. (And too long since I last blogged, I know.) Last week’s blog would have been about skiing, which I meant to write, but then the week started and here it is Saturday. Know how that goes?

The Olympics have been on my mind and on our TV this week, but in particular, the “Thank You Mom” commercial has weaved in and out of my thoughts.

“For teaching us that falling only makes us stronger.”

It’s easy when you are watching a commercial that ends with a child participating in the Olympics to agree with this sentiment (after you wipe away the tears). But most of us are not raising Olympic athletes, and yet this still applies to routine parenthood.

I spent several hours this week – for many reasons and in many situations that happened to converge at once – pondering the idea of falling, of failing, of setbacks and challenges and of letting our children suffer a bit to make them stronger. This is not easy to do, no matter what age your child. It is hard to watch them hurt, get hurt and be hurt – whether it is a fall, a personal struggle, a friendship gone bad, or a child being mean to them at school. Our instinct is to protect our children from the hurts of the world.

But we can’t. The hurts of the world will always be there, and we – as parents – will not. As parents we can not protect our child from the hurts, but we can help them learn to deal with their challenges, to give them the tools to get back up by themselves, to stand up for themselves, and to advocate for themselves. What a gift to empower our children with this strength and these gifts.

But to do this, we have to let them fall.

  • Filed under: Blog

    The purpose of Notre Dame Swimming is to pursue athletic excellence with self-discipline and love for one another.

    This past weekend I had the privilege to attend Coach Tim Welsh’s last meet at Notre Dame. Yes, he will still coach the team at the ACC championship meet and at NCAAs, but this was his last meet at his home pool. After 29 years. So he’s just done, not done done. (A Tim expression…)

    I would learn as the day unfolded that it was a day he was dreading. Thankfully, it turned out to be – in his words – “a joyous celebration.” And it was.

    Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s director of athletics, said it best when he noted that there is no coach a better fit for their school than Tim Welsh and Notre Dame.

    A former teammate of mine anticipated Tim’s desire not to want the day to end: he made dinner reservations for those who stayed overnight “to continue the celebration” with Tim and his family. And we did – until the place shutdown. We told stories, we laughed, we got to know swimmers from other classes – all with a common thread of

    And Fighting Irish Digital Media captured Tim’s legacy visually with the following video:

    Tim’s Last Meet

    Tim, you are the ultimate definition, embodiment and reflection of love for one another. And we love you!

  • Filed under: Blog

    The following is an excerpt from my book (it is also posted on the homepage of this website):

    Sunday, January 26, 1992, Intensive Care Unit, Memorial Hospital of South Bend

    Although it is Super Bowl Sunday, there is nothing super about it. Next to swimming, I love football, but for the first time in as long as I can remember, I don’t care about the game. I don’t know who is playing, but it is a blowout. And it’s just a game. To millions of fans it is everything on this day; but to me, today, it means nothing.

    Interestingly enough, I gave a talk a few months ago where someone referenced this passage. She walked up to me after waiting in line during my book signing and said, “It was the Redskins who blew out Buffalo.” (Clearly she was a Redskins fan.) Then added, “I know that because 1992 is the last time they won,” no longer smiling.

    I always find it interesting to hear what passages – or sometimes even what word - someone connects with in my book. Often times it is an emotion or a description from the hospital, but I understand the thrill of the Superbowl: last year my Ravens played (this year they didn’t make the playoffs.)

    This day is many things to many people. As I wrote above, to millions of fans it is everything. To many, it is a time to actually watch the commercials during a game. To a dear friend, it is a reminder that one year ago today her father lay dying waiting for a lung transplant (which he received and survived and is with us today, miraculously healthy!)

    It is Superbowl Sunday, and whether or not you watch the game or even follow football, it is a milestone that marks the weekend. But while the Superbowl is a big deal, let’s take a moment to remember those who are – as I was in 1992, and my girlfriend was last year – facing life challenges that remind us to pause and say, “It’s just a game.”

  • Filed under: Blog
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