Once every four years, I wish my children would watch more television.
Normally, I'm fretting about them consuming damaging media messages. But during the summer Olympics, I want them to internalize every inspiring message.
You can do something that has never been done before. Look at Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps shattering records and claiming a spot among those called The Greatest.
You can fly higher than people have ever seen. Watch Simone Biles win five medals and pull off a signature tumbling pass that no one else in the world -- male or female -- can do.
You can wreck stereotypes. See Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American Muslim woman in hijab, win a bronze medal in fencing. And there's Dalilah Muhammad, an American Muslim woman in shorts, winning a gold medal in 400 meter hurdles for our country -- the first woman to do so.
You can carry the weight of history and still swim faster. Watch Simone Manuel dominate. As an African-American, she would have been forcibly shut out of public pools decades ago; today, she can win a gold medal in swimming.
You have opportunities you might not have known existed. Look at Ashleigh Johnson making those saves for our gold medal-winning water polo team.
Your hurts can propel you higher. Read Sarah Elizabeth Robles' tweet before she won an Olympic medal for weightlifting: "Things that used to get me bullied are the things that made me become an Olympian. Consider that when some jerk tries to tear you down."
Take heart in the diversity and camaraderie of the Final Five gold-medal gymnastic team.
It's not just the heroic feats of athleticism that I want my kids to notice. There are the stories on and off the field that reveal the human spirit.
Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino fell in the middle of the 5000-meter qualifier. They took turns helping each other up. They sacrificed their chance to win to help a hurt competitor. Neither won a medal, but they earned the Olympic's Fair Play award for their sportsmanship.
In another moment of connection, two competitors took an innocent selfie. Hong Un-jong, a gymnast from North Korea, mugged for the camera with Lee Eun-ju, a gymnast from South Korea, and it captured a story of friendship that transcends borders.
Most inspiring were the 10 athletes competing on the Refugee Olympic Team. They had fled Syria, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Congo, and survived conditions most of us can't even fathom. They left wars and persecution, looking for safe havens in a world largely indifferent -- or even hostile -- to their plight. The world turned its back on Yusra Mardini, a Syrian teenager who crossed from Turkey into Greece in an overloaded inflatable boat. When its motor failed and the boat took on water, she and her sister jumped into the sea and swam for three hours while pushing the boat, saving the lives of the other passengers.
The refugee athletes may not have won medals, but they won our hearts.
These stories are the anti-venom for a poisonous election season.
I wanted my children to learn from the lowlights, too. You can be a world-class athlete and still turn yourself into a national embarrassment. Medals don't look good on liars.
But I prefer to focus on my personal heroes from these Games: the 40-somethings, the moms, the marginalized. They showed us over and over again that you can compete with athletes half your age.
How can you not be in awe of Oksana Chusovitina, who has competed at every Summer Olympics since Barcelona in 1992? A seven-time Olympian who, at 41, became the oldest gymnast in Olympic history, competed alongside athletes her son's age.
I cheered for Kerri Walsh Jennings, still winning medals in beach volleyball at 38.
And there was Kristin Armstrong, a day before she turned 43, becoming the first American woman to win an individual event in three consecutive summer Olympics. She is the oldest woman cyclist to ever win gold.
"People have asked me, over and over, 'Why? Why am I back?'" she said in an interview with NBC Sports. "And it's because I can."
Like nearly everyone else in the world, I'm never going to be an Olympian. But we can share that spirit.
Because we can.