I love this picture. The poise, the quiet determination and the visual lines it displays. That’s MY DAUGHTER. I sometimes shake my head in disbelief that this spunky, spirited creature is mine. Despite seeing an amazon, a warrior, when is see this picture, I also see her hands-curled every so slightly like they’ve done since she was my baby. She’s all woman in this picture but I still see a small glimpse of my baby girl.
Swimming isn’t…excuse me wasn’t her thing. She played softball. I talked her into swimming because, hey, she was at the pool anyway with her brother. Might as well be IN IT.
Like everything else she does she put her all into it and has excelled. She played softball, ran track and cheered. But in may she literally dove right in and raced side by side swimmers that have been practicing all year. And she damn near beat them!
Her style is pure strength and is very different from her brothers but it’s equally as effective. She doesn’t win with flourish-her wins are quiet and hard earned and always seem to catch her by suprise.
Like everything else she does she is her own worse critic. I see her shaking her head in the water when she’s displeased with a turn. She is barely out of the water before she is asking what her time was. She knows, to the second, what she swam last race and judges herself harshly if time isn’t dropped. After each race she can tell you exactly where she faltered or exactly where her stamina left her. And each tome it’s a little later than the time before.
She doesn’t choose the easy way out–not my girl—she goes straight for that Mack daddy of races-the IM. All 4 strokes at race speed. It’s daunting even for the experienced swimmer. Equally as impressive, for me at least, is that she elects to swim the same stroke as her brother.
My girl is humble about her abilities. She’s quiet about her wins. She’s irritated at herself for her loses. I know she’s set a goal for herself to make the all-star team and the state team. I see her working, hard, toward that goal.
And I am proud.
My girl and I butt heads. Often. I say black and she argues white. She ask for my opinion, I provide it and she argues that I am wrong. Her tone irritates me. My voice irritates her. She rolls her eyes and I raise my voice. She flips that pony tail and I flip my lid. We are volatile.
Yet she is my most thoughtful child. She is the one with the biggest heart. It’s her that thinks of my first.
I am proud of all of my babies but I show it least about her. And that’s wrong. She’s amazing. She’s beautiful. She’s mesmerizing when she wants to be. Her strength and power are impressive. She’s a strong willed, strong minded young woman who attacks life. She is a power all her own. She is a fighter and though these traits makes parenting her hard they also make me proud and give me confidence that she has what it takes to make her way in this world.
What more could a mother ask for?
This photo is incredible. I see, not the 14 year old girl, but the young woman she is. I don’t see a side pony tail and an impish little smile. I look at this and see raw power and true grit. I see strength and energy; poise and beauty all on one tiny package. I see a strong young woman who isn’t afraid. And she that makes my heart happy.