Monday night was our last regular meet. As in, last ever. Of course I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the way the pool goes from blue to fluorescent turquoise at night and the way splashes briefly explode against the evening lights like liquid fireworks. I’ll miss the lazy background lull of cicadas and the smell of chlorine and the spidery brown children with bleached hair. I’ll miss the familiar chant of the starter, “Timers clear your watches. Swimmers take your mark. Go.”
Now that we’ve come full circle, I can’t help but notice how our worlds kept widening like ripples from a water droplet in a pool. When my children were little, I cheered for them. Then I learned to cheer for the ones on our team. Lately I’ve found myself cheering for all of them—especially the ones who need cheering the most. At some point I stopped noticing who was on what team.
Lo and behold, all those years I was growing up, too. And now I have the real prize—I learned in the end what winning really is.
Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.~Epictetus