As her hand hit the side of the pool, my thumb hit the stop button on the timer. Before she rose up out of the water, I could see her smiling with joy and excitement! I will never forgot that smile and those eyes, as she looked up at me with great expectation, “Mommy, how did I do, did I win??”
Summer in our neighborhood means swim team time. Which means minivans, fold-chairs, and lots of snacks and sunscreen. Mom’s park themselves in select groups for hours at a time, while their kiddos splash, kick and learn how to become better swimmers.
This has been our oldest daughter’s third summer on the swim team, and I believe swimming has officially become her “thing.” She lives and breathes it. You should see her adjust and then readjust her goggles before she jumps off the block, I swear it is like watching Michael Phelps in a 7-year old girl’s body. She is focused and INTENSE! The competition and camaraderie definitely brings out all of the best parts of her personality. When she’s in the pool, she’s kicking and pulling water as fast as her little body can go. When she’s out of the pool, she’s right on the edge, cheering on her teammates at the top of her lungs.
As her parents, this is so exciting to watch, we’re into it because she’s into it. We talk about it because she wants to talk about it. Basically, we want to come alongside her as she learns more and more about the sport, intentionally creating opportunities for her to improve her skill set.
As a mostly-retired, but still highly competitive athlete (and by athlete, I mean, I still like to be active) I understand that drive to be the best, and to fight to win at all costs. But as a mom, a wife, a counselor, and follower of Christ, I am much more concerned with my child’s drive to fight the real fight well and with all of her heart.
God created Lucy. He thought about her body type, her heavy lean towards perfectionism, her empathic and encouraging spirit. He didn’t create anyone else to be like her, because He has specific plans and purposes for her life. The gifts, talents and abilities that we are helping her to hone and sharpen have one defining purpose: to bring God glory that will shine bright for all the world to see.
Lucy did in fact win that race, along with many others during her swim season. As her mother, my heart was bursting with pride, and I felt so blessed to have been the one at the end of the race to tell her, “Well done Lucy, well done, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have remained faithful!” 1 Timothy 4:7