Short update here on the kid:
She kinda did awesome at her state championship swim meet. Like, bring-tears-to-your-eyes awesome.
She swam personal best times in all three events she qualified for; this was her goal. And she nailed it.
The biggest victory was in the 100 backstroke, where she was seeded 29th and realistically had no chance to come back for finals. She swam her little heart out, and placed 18th. The top 16 came back for finals, but as second alternate, she got to warm up for state finals and wait it out to see if there were any no-shows. Her name was listed in the heat sheet alongside the elite swimmers. For a brief time, she got to see how the other half swim.
It was an honor for a kid like her just to make the cuts to get there last weekend, so we were already beyond proud of her. But to see her go out and swim her fastest times ever and see her hard work and dedication pay off--it was inspiring. When her times were posted on the scoreboard, I felt my heart swell to bursting.
Some of the other parents are used to this. Their kids qualified last year and have been swimming at the top of the pack since they were old enough to jump off the side of a pool without floaties. Their children not only qualified for finals but sometimes won the whole event.
Yet I promise you they were not any more proud of their little athlete than I was of mine.
She swears her fast times were partly because we found her an inexpensive and "imperfect" version of a fast suit on eBay that we saved until this most important of meets to give to her. (It's not caving to peer pressure when you only pay a fraction of the price since the suit was heavily discounted due to slight mangling during shipment from China. Right?)
And if she wants to think that, fine.
For I know the fast times at Swimville High are really due to the heart of the kid inside the suit. And this makes me more proud than I deserve.