Makes Me Happy Monday : Summer, Sun and Swim Team

The days creep shorter
and I snap shots here and there
to capture this summer’s excitement at the pool
for later remembrance.

It is a familiar thing we do as a family.
When James was two, he had surgery to correct a congenital deformity of his chest.
His sternum was broken and lifted, with a bar inserted to support his chest cavity
while it healed.
When he was four, he had the bar removed.
The doctor told us that swimming was the best thing for him.So, we joined a swim team that summer.
He swam every summer from that year until he aged out at 19.
He began at four, Glory began at six and Joy started at five.
Swim team has been a part of our life in every city we have lived.

With our participation in swim team
and my struggles with the shorter days of winter,
the sun has always been my friend.
The sights and sounds of the pool are always a comfort ….
a soothing salve to my soul.

From the stillness of a pool waiting for swimmers ….

to The Big Splash Contest on July 4th,
I so enjoy being on deck.

Knowing my struggles to sit still,
the pool may also be a draw because there is no mess there for me to clean,
no list to check off,
no looming responsibility.
Like camping, when I am there
I am free to relax.
MAKING myself take that small trek up the hill is the difficult part …
but once I am arrive,  I soak it all in.
It is a good thing …
to be still … to listen and look and rest.  

I have my favorite memories,
like the end of the night crescendo races at swim meets …
drenched in raucous screams and loud applause that fills the block
spilling over onto Washington Road, I am sure.
With six swimmers from each team racing side by side …
the fastest from his respective age group  …. from the youngest to the oldest …
this race serves as a tie-breaker, should the meet end so close it is needed.
In the darkness, every eye focuses on two lanes with huge commotion.
I love it.

I love to watch the encouragement ….
like our head coach with her infectious smile
and positive attitude
encouraging her team
to do their best
and rest on what they know.
I don’t know how she does this …
so effectively … with such patience and enthusiasm …
year … after …. year.

And I see a young coach who cheers on a sibling
as the younger sister takes a dive into the chilly water at the Aquatics Center.
I remember when we first moved to the neighborhood
and they were both very young.

Time flies.

I watch form and speed
and stand amazed at the dedication required by these children
to swim five days a week and race five to eight times a season.
Sometimes … I get teary-eyed. I am proud to somehow be a part of this grand endeavor
of building strength, dedication and character.

I watch my youngest
work and train.
Some mornings, I must roll her out of bed.
She walks to the pool like others
with bed-head, rooster hair
in a bathing suit with a towel over her shoulder
and goggles around her neck.
She may complain a bit,
but when the meets come,
she gives it her all.
And I am proud of her.
I love the pool.
I love the water.
I love the camaraderie that saturates its presence.
I love soaking in the rays that calm my soul.

Yes, summer, sun and swim team make me very happy.
What makes YOU happy this marvelous Monday morning?

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