Elizabeth's Independance Day

Left page of three-page spread about my granddaughter's first swim team season. The girl is four and a half! She's not fast - yet - but her persistence amazes me.



Elizabeth, I think you were born to be a fish. You’ve loved water since Mommy first took you to the pool. In 2008, you learned to float and swim freestyle, managing a few consecutive strokes. In 2009, you started the Guppy class, and then asked Coach Marty if you could practice with the swim team; she said “Yes!” July 3rd, you called me on the phone to tell me that you swam with the team, and Coach Marty said you could swim in the meet on Saturday. I told you that was wonderful, but you said, tearfully, that you didn’t want to race. Of course, Mommy and I told you that you didn’t have to if you didn’t want to.


The morning of July 4th, at Smallwood Village pool, you proudly showed me your event numbers written on your arm – and then stood at the beginning of lane 6, hiding them. You still weren’t sure that you wanted to do this! Moments later, you determinedly took your mark and plunged in for the eight-and-under freestyle event. You were four and a half! Everybody cheered for the first-time swimmer – YOU! The pool is L-shaped, and the first half of your 25 yard lap you were able to grab the wall when you felt unsure of yourself. But for the rest of the lap there was only a lane rope, and you knew you weren’t supposed to hold the ropes – so you finished without stopping, with a time of 1:09.70. You looked proud of your achievement, and got hugs from Mommy and Coach Marty. Later, you swam backstroke, using Daddy’s legs as a “starting block.” You also swam in a Junior Marlin race for non-team members, to support Eamon Griffin, and were given a ribbon. With an amazed look on your face, you whispered, “Oh my gosh! My first ribbon!”

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