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The Tedium is Oh So Tedious, but the Divine is Oh So Divine

Saturday morning, eight AM, swim team time trials. Mia, as the youngest kid, was in the very first race, freestyle, six and under. Timers ready? Take your marks... and then the horn sounds. Five children dive into the water and swim their hearts out. Mia is left standing on the edge of the pool, confused. Her coaches finally convince her to dive in, and as soon as she hits the water she swims straight back to the wall. That's what they do in practice, of course, when they work on their dives. They finally get her straightened out, and off she goes. By now, all the other children are halfway across the pool, but Mia is not fazed. She swims as hard and as fast as she can, which is not very fast. She kicks every time she hears someone yelling out to remind her to do it, but as soon as she starts kicking she forgets to move her arms. I'm screaming that she can do it. Chris is screaming that she's almost there. Owen is clapping and yelling "great job, Mia." And a hundred other kids and parents are yelling her name, cheering her on. And she made it. She made it, and she loved it, and she was thrilled with herself. And when it was her turn for backstroke, she didn't come in last.

I thought we were building her confidence and teaching her sportsmanship and teamwork and letting her make some new friends. But no. Mia, it turns out, is there to win. And I am sure it will take her a year or two to get there, but I have every confidence that she is going to do it.


Owen has been playing pretend since birth, courtesy of his older sister. He's been Abu and Prince Charming and a munchkin, and he calls Mia "Princess Dorothy" (Gale, of Kansas, of course, we are on Book 9) as often as he calls her Mia. He likes to play doggy and have us pet him, he likes to be Handy Manny. Saturday night, I read him a book about WALL-E, and in at one point, WALL-E goes to bed. So after we read, I told Owen it was time to go to bed like WALL-E, and asked him to get in his robot bed. And he said "Ok, Eva." And it took me a minute to realize. The pretending, that was nothing new, but making up something new? Telling me who to be, how to participate in his story, expanding his imagination beyond himself, beyond what he has been told, that was new. That was the first. And that realization made it all the more adorable when he spent the next fifteen minutes saying "I love you, Eva."


Some days, I really regret that it is not appropriate to lock them both in the basement for several hours until they stop driving me batshit insane. And some days they are so perfectly amazing that I can't believe they are real.

Comments (10)

Yes, and yes.

My kids do both on a daily basis. Only, we don't have a basement.

Good for Mia.

Oh, oh, oh, picturing Mia at that swim meet, all befuddled by the horn and the diving and the racing and OH! How do you watch? I nearly wept just reading it.

great stories about each of them (way to go, mia!)

and i'm so right there with you :)

So true. And there were so many times that I wish that I could have frozen time with my girls.

Yay for Mia!!!

I love these stories of beautiful moments. (and thanks for telling the truth that it's not always that way.)

I feel the exact same way. How can I go from wanting to tape his mouth shut, to 30 minutes later smelling his hair and nuzzling him at bedtime? They drive me insane, I tell ya.

Congrats on the wonderfulness though. That's really what makes it all so damn worth it.

Heh. Heh. RudeCactus guy left out the part about Mia getting confused by the horn. Details. :)

I so agree, even though my two are older, I still get the paradox of sweet hugs and kisses and pretend balanced by yelling, criticizing me, and over all just not listening.

Unfortunately or fortunately it just never ends. There will always be good and bad days and good and bad moments in the midst of those days.

At first I thought Fussbot expressing what he was thinking was awesome but now that this whole imaginative play bit has come out, its a whole new ballgame. Its been really amazing to witness, something I never game much thought to how fun it would be.

Well done to Mia! My daughter plays pretend all day every day. I can't keep up with which character I am most of the time and if I don't call her by her character's name then she gets mad with me.

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

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I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
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