This summer has been all about the Olympics, or as Ella would say the "Lympics" and our house has been no exception. My husband could spend all day, everyday watching whatever sport is on (handball, ping pong, race walking- yes, that is a legit sport in the Olympics), and Ella has started to follow suit. While we get her lotioned, and brushed, and diapered, and dressed after her bath at night, she usually watches a show to keep her sitting and distracted. Lately, we will ask her if she wants to watch one of her shows or the Olympics, and sometimes she says, "Lympics- I want to watch swimming." While she will watch other sports, swimming seems to be her favorite. She is fascinated by how quickly those men and women can race down the length of the pool, "really fast like an otter," and how they wear goggles and go "all the way under water." She likes to jump on the bed naked and yell, "USA! USA!" as if it really means something to her.
Swimming as her sport of choice is not really random. She has spent a lot of time in the pool this summer figuring out the whole swimming thing for herself. Recently, we went shopping for flotation devices and I let her pick the one she wanted to wear. It is a pink number with one floaty in the back and one in the front that are attached between her legs. From the minute we bought it, she has been asking to wear it in the pool, "so I don't sink."
The thing that amazes me most about this girl is how physically adept she is. As with rolling over, crawling, and walking, she pretty much learned how to swim in a week. Our neighbors who have a pool went away and gave us full reign of the backyard, so Ella B was in their pool everyday, two hours a day, for five days straight. In that time, she went from asking me to hold her, to telling me to let go of her, to learning to kick her legs, to learning how to swim away from me, saying, "Bye! I'm going to New York City!" She also likes to jump into the pool from the ladder and tells me to "move back, Mom. No, farther!"
Because I was never an athlete, I am constantly in awe of her fearlessness, her determination, and her understanding of how to use her body to learn something. I know she is only two, but I think all these traits are the mark of a true athlete. I'm certain that sports will come easily to her, and I'm looking forward to standing on the sidelines and cheering her on- my wide eyes full of admiration and wonder.
Summer Olympics 2028, here we come!