Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Last We Meet

 My children have been involved in the neighborhood swim team since they were practically toddlers. The wonderful coaches taught them to swim. Amazing to me that I have now watched them grow up to be lifeguards and coaches themselves.

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


  1. Nice post. My young 'uns didn't do the swim team thing. For us it has been baseball, ballet and acting. But you're right, it is amazing how the circle widens.

  2. Lovely post! We learn through our children as much as they learn from us.

  3. We all need cheering, teams are only for sponsors. You sure captured the essence of growing, in a water logged sort a way. I'm more a ball dirt kind a girl but the metaphor is the same. It's all about playing, not the winning. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow


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