Fired up. I am in a contest this summer with two girlfriends. I don’t plan on coming in first place but I plan on winning.
Winning. The aim of my seven year old son’s existence. He is going to make it in the business world, athletic world, artistic world…which ever world he chooses to inhabit. Last night at his first swim meet of the season he was fired up ready to leave everyone in his wake. As a “speedy sixer” your races aren’t timed and you get a ribbon right at the end of your race when you hop out of the pool. Unlike how it works for the older swimmers, where your race is timed, you get your finishing time typed out on a ribbon the next day when you show up to swim team practice.
Simon looked to one side and to the other, checking out his competition as he kicked his way to the end of the pool. Before he was out of the pool and the volunteer was handing him a ribbon he said to his ribbon giver, I won, didn’t I – I came in first, right?
Reading the name label on the ribbon he told my son, You are a ‘star performer’ you did great.
All very p.c., this is a friendly place about having fun.
But I won, right?
Not sure how to proceed because this isn’t state finals and my son isn’t a high school senior, nor is it the Olympics like it is in Simon’s eyes, Yes, son…you did great, he told him.
Knowing the importance to my son I wrapped a towel around his shoulders and whispered in his ear, Yes, honey you came in first.
I knew it, he beamed.
When he came in second for the back stroke event, he told me as he was handed his ‘Star Performer’ ribbon, I know I came in second, that’s okay, I’ll come in first next time.
His age, his gender, or just all Simon, winning is important. It drives him to keep trying. It lights his fire.
When my friend and I decided to do this book reading contest I knew who I was up against. LFB is a crazy reader. Last summer I loaned her 13 books. She returned them all 2 weeks later. All of them read. I told you she was crazy. That’s what motivated me to challenge her to a contest. I didn’t care that I was up against crazy reader. I was envious of her fast reading skills and it is pushing me to the other end of the pool. I want to read as much as I can this summer and if I end up paying her the $25 bucks because she gets more pages read, so be it. I have already read more than my usual and I am enjoying the journey, occasionally looking from side to side to see how much further the others are ahead of me. If LFB comes in first and AHH second, no worries, I am still making it to the end of the pool and I will still feel like a winner.
by J.G. McGlothern