Friday, January 30, 2009

The end of a swimming season

My daughter swam in Region finals today and I couldn't have been more proud. She worked so hard this year to keep on top of her grades and has been dealing with a lung issue we hope to soon have diagnosed. The meet wasn't quite what she would have wanted in terms of her times, but she was there and I was so, so proud.

Now, getting there was a journey in itself. For me, today, I mean. I now am babysitting my nephew, one-year-old Alex, and I have my four-year-old, Gunder, still at home. I figured if we left the house by 1:00 I'd make it to Bountiful by 1:45 to see Nina swim her last event. I had a funny internal dialog going on, sometimes peppered with comments from the two rugrats.

Me: Have to hurry. Got the bottle, drink for Gunder with lid, Cheerios in cup, diaper. Dang. Need wipies. Ok, got the wipies. "Gunder, stop with the jumping up and down! Put your shoes on!"

Inner voice: Patience is a virtue.

Me: Shut up. Ok, set the alarm, out the door. Buckle everyone in, no movie for Gunder. "Sorry, Gunder, no movie. You'll just have to listen to the radio. No, I'm not going back in." Listen, kid, my head's going to explode if you don't stop the whining about the movie.

Inner voice: He's only four.

Me: Again, with the shut up. What is with all this blasted traffic? Who's so desperate to get out of Ogden at 1:00 on a Friday? Does nobody work a full day anymore? My day goes till midnight! I never have an early day. Wish someone would offer me four tens.

Inner voice: Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

Me: I'll give you idle hands. Ok, finally moving. Good. Going faster. Passing Lagoon.

Gunder: "I see the roller coaster!"

Alex: "Aaaaarrrgggghh."

Gunder: "I dropped my Megazord!"

Me: "You'll have to leave it, buddy. I can't reach it."

Gunder: "Please, Mom! It's just right there."

Me: (Reaching and driving with one hand), "There. Now don't drop him again!"

Inner voice: You should keep both hands on the wheel. Isan't their safety more important than Megazord?

Me: Isn't my sanity more important than anything at all? Who wants to listen to him whine about Megazord until we get there. Do you want to listen to him whine about Megazord till we get there? Ok, making ok ringing, it's Anna. "Yes, we're almost there." Driving kind of fast...hmm. The car shimmies a bit at 80.

Inner voice: Old Arab saying, Do not stand in places of danger praying for miracles.

Me: Crap. And I did pray before I left the driveway. Front tire is kind of bald. Slowing down, darn you.

Inner voice: You should slow down more. We believe in being subject to kings, rulers, (something) and magistrates and in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

Me: Some laws were meant to be broken. There are places in the world where this speed would be considered crawling. Again with the phone. "Yes, honey, I swear I'm almost there." Ah, good. There's the exit. And pulling up to a stoplight. Ok, good, got the green arrow. Checking watch. She'll be in the pool in four minutes. What? are you kidding me? A school zone with no kids and not even a crossing guard in sight. But the lights on the sign have been turned on. Blasted kids.

Inner voice: Suffer the little ones to come unto me and forbid them not...

Alex: Aaaaarrrrrrgghh!

Gunder: Mom, he's touching me.

Me: Ok. Parking lot. Oh look, there's Anna.

Anna: "Mom, are you just going to park right here?"

Me: "Yes. The snow covers up the yellow paint on the curb. Besides, there are two other cars right there."

Inner voice: Would you follow them off a cliff?

Me: At this point, yes. And didn't I tell you to shut up?

So, needless to say, the Inner Voice needs to work on her articles of faith. And she's annoying. And she always pops up when I'm the most stressed.

The good part of the afternoon was that I saw Nina's second race, and saw her get a medal. I saw her hug her dad and get teary-eyed on his shoulder- this, the girl who rarely cries. I saw my teddy bear of a husband get teary-eyed. This, the man who always does, bless his heart. He has been in love with his girls from the moment they took their first breaths, and as I watch him try to let go as they get older, my heart breaks a little for him, even as I laugh gently with him. Well, kind of with him. He's not laughing much.

My friend Jerelyn gave a talk recently where she was honored for Good Works. She said when she goes to bed each night, she thinks, "What was the best part of my day today?" and "What was my good deed today?" Well, I suppose my good deed for the day was not ramming my dinged-up SUV into the cars in my way as I frantically tried to see my daughter's race, and the best part of my day was watching Nina's face as her dad told her how proud he is of her and how much he loves her.

I hope I never forget that moment.

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