Our Princess had a swim meet today.
Out. Of. Town.
It was kind of a big deal.
We’ve never done this before, after all, and anytime you do something for the first time…..well, it can be a little crazy.
I was helping her pack towels, robe, water bottle, goggles, swim cap…..
and doing her hair so said swim cap would fit. No easy feat.
I did my usual OCD round of making sure doors were locked and things unplugged and fixed my own cup of water.
And we were off. Like a herd of turtles, as the Fella often says.
Nearly two hours later we arrived. Big city stuff, y’all. Big indoor pool, with more lanes than I could count, but I’m guessing around 25. HUGE.
We immediately discovered that those of us attending as fans had overdressed a bit. We were dressed for the cooler weather in our jeans and long-sleeved shirts. We stood out among the locals who knew better and were in shorts and t-shirts. It was h-a-w-t, hot in there.
It was a lot of fun though. So much going on to see. So many folks to people watch. And then there was our Princess herself. From our seats on the upper level, we had a birdseye view of her dancing around between her heats, always the ballerina at heart. She found friends to sit and talk and play with, and she was her usual self, full of a joy for life that I often find myself envying.
During one lull, I needed to stretch my legs. I went downstairs, where it was MUCH cooler, and visited the little girls’ room. There was no one else in there. When I opened the door to exit the stall, there was a big grinning face waiting on me. Before I could completely register who it was, this girl, who is on the verge of being as tall as I am, grabbed me and gave me a full on bear hug.
My baby girl.
“Isn’t it funny running into you in here?” she laughed.
“How did you know it was me in there?” I asked her, still a little overwhelmed.
“Well, I came in here and I heard you jingling. I thought, ‘I know that jingle,’ so I looked at your shoes just to be sure, and there you were!” She was tickled with herself.
My jingling. That’s how she knew me. My special, one of a kind jingle. That’s precious right there. We go through our days not realizing how what we wear or put on or spray on could be imprinting someone else with the essence of us. But it does. The smell of Jergen’s lotion still brings my Mama closer.
A year and a half ago my oldest bought me a Mother’s Day gift all on her own, with her own money–ordered it from the internet and everything. It was a necklace with a charm on it that said “mama,” surrounded by sweet things that Mama’s do. Since that time I’ve added a charm with “family” and a heart and another circle that has the names of my three children on it. I wear it everyday, and when I think about it, I realize it does jingle. A lot. But I hardly notice it anymore.
Tonight I’m thankful for my sweet girl and her love of swimming. Just as her older sister did, she is taking me on adventures to see new places and learn new things, all because of who she is and what she loves. I’m thankful for the gift of my beautiful necklace that describes my greatest challenge and favorite role in life, all in one–being their Mama. And I give thanks for being accosted by a big goofy smile on a beautiful face that knows me…..because she loves me enough to pay attention to what makes me me.
May we all have someone who recognizes our jingles, and whose jingle we could pick out of a crowd. That’s the really good stuff, isn’t it? That’s love.
Love to all.