We didn’t expect her to win; we just came for the party. She was in the same arena as an Olympian, national swimmers, tennis players and also golfers who qualified for US Open. She is also only 16. We just came for the party.  When the nominations were read, her name was there. Wow, what an honour to be nominated!

And then…the BISP Senior Sportswoman of the Year Award 2016 goes to….GEORGINA PERRY!

Her father was moved beyond tears. His daughter had won the highest award, the biggest prize, and he had come here tonight, just to have fun with her, not this. People around congratulated us.

“Parenting is the only thing we got 100% right, McCoy,” he said to me emotionally. McCoy is his 30-year-old nickname for me, from when I was a teenager.  Indeed, in our imperfect lives, our children had a near-perfect childhoods which lead them all to where they are today.

And the thing is, we DID NOT DO ANYTHING. We did not stress about exams. We did not sweat about the small things. We did not strive for perfection. We just focused on being happy in our family. Just silly things. He is a great joker and I am a good stooge for his jokes because I am humourless, pompous and self-righteous. In our messy untidy house there are lots of laughter, love, food and books. And God. Crucifix hanging on the wall. Bottles of holy water. Footballs in the house, too – I hated them kicking football in the house, but nonetheless, this is what our family is about. God, football, books. Laughter, food, messiness.

Someone recently wrote an article, ‘I’m done with making my children’s childhood magical.” Too stressful.  When you are happy, when you all are happy, magic just happens. As my children’s father says, “Parenting is EASY.” Just don’t sweat over the small things. Focus on the important ones – like happiness, kindness, loving being a family, contentment, magic, silliness.

“Do your practice and all is coming,” Shri K Pattabhi Jois said. Yes, and your practice is living your life joyously everyday.

Our youngest had just finished her exams. Tomorrow morning, she will be leading her football team, Cruzeiro, on the pitch for the Brazil Embassy Cup, and then two weeks’ time, she will be playing in Portugal. In the meantime, we laugh, we love, we live our magical family life.  This is where we are today. And this is how we grew our champion.

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