Sunday, May 13, 2012

something i never told you


When I was in high school, my mom cried when she watched me swim the butterfly for the first time in competition. I don't know why my coach signed me up for this event. I was horrible. So horrible. I probably came in last in my heat. I probably looked like I was trying to lift the weight of the whole world on the backs of my arms—

This stroke can be the most beautiful and the most ugly—depending on who's swimming it.

I remember swimming this race and just thinking to myself: don't stop. When I finally got to the wall, I was also happy I hadn't thrown up. I'd finished my goal! Which is why my mom was crying—the race was so hideous, but she was so happy for me anyway.

Even though I never had time to tell her: This event scares me to death; I only learned to swim it a year ago; I always want to throw up before a race; and during a race. She just knew these things by the way I didn't stop.

This is all to say, my mom is lovely. And, I mean, not to talk about my MFA defense too much (or to make too big a deal out of a commercial about the summer 2012 Olympics...), but when I walked out of the building—across the courtyard to my car—I felt like that girl waving from the pool: one of many moments in my life when I knew my mom was cheering for me from miles and miles away. Or what I know she's doing for me every day.

happy mom's day mom!
Oh the happiness.

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