One of my favorite things right now is happening every Monday and Wednesday.
Every week on those days our oldest daughter lights up when she sees me grab her swimsuit and the first thing she says is “don’t forget my goggles mama!”
She started classes at our local YMCA last summer and then had a little break during the winter. Now this summer she’s into the start of her second month and every Monday and Wednsesday I stand there like a happy little kid as I watch her. She has progressed from practicing arm circles to a full on freestyle stroke. She is swimming. Our little girl is swimming!
My brain can hardly process what that feels like for me. The happiness I feel is pretty darn close to the joy I felt the first time I held her little warm naked body in my chest after giving birth to her. It is that pure.
Today during one of her breaks (meaning she sits and waits her turn) I happened to look past the fence just behind the YMCA pool where our local High School had a swim meet going on. As I stood there feeling the cool breeze and watched the line of girls in their matching swim suits and their white swim caps, an old sensation tugged at my heart that caused the tiniest aching sensation.
I miss my speedo.
I stood there for what was probably all of less than a minute but memories just came pouring in. I remembered seasons past when I was on my own HS swim team, and this longing came over me.
Waking up at 5:30am every morning for Varsity practice. Devouring oranges during swim meets. Raiding the vending machine after swim practice. Hell week during Spring break. Feeling like my legs couldn’t muster up one more kick but somehow finding the strength to persevere and finish. Fun times with our teammates on the bus to or from swim meets. The exhilaration of winning a swim meet and doing well in my event. The bitter disappointment of a swim time not met or my body not doing what I envisioned. And most of all the water. The therapeutic sensation I felt during swim practice. Even during the toughest swim practices, the moment I dove in I felt the water embrace me with its love and acceptance, and nothing else mattered. No heartache or fear or insecurity entered my body. The water always rescued me.
I miss competitive swimming so much. I miss my speedo and my swim cap. I miss the water. I miss that loving embrace.