When I was younger, I wanted to be just like my parents. I refused to have my ears pierced because my mom never had hers pierced. I wanted to work in a finance job and travel the world. I wanted to be a division 1 swimmer who specialized in butterfly. I obviously was going to go to college close to home, because how could I ever be a combined clone of my parents if I couldn’t be near them to make sure I stayed on the right track?
Ok, of course that was a little ridiculous, but in my 10-year-old mind, it made perfect sense. I have my ears pierced now because I love earrings and I have branched away from my parents and become independent. I could not be happier about that either; I wouldn’t want to be just like them. But, every day I am reminded how much of my parents’ child I am. I don’t need to be around them every day to know that I am just like them. And I am proud of that.
Typical Weekend Day:
4:30 am: Bound out of bed. Note to the readers: No, I didn’t set my alarm. Nope, there’s no reason for me to be up this early and my body clock has taken the term “early bird” WAY too far. Check my phone – message from Dad at 4:22 am. You got me today. Thanks Dad – at least when you inherit genes like these, you have someone out there with you in the same boat.
4:31 am: Breakfast of course. I think a love of food can be traced back centuries in my family.
5:00 am: Psych myself up for the swim meet today. At a towering (not) 5’2’’, my height, or lack thereof, does not give me any extra benefits in the middle of a swim race. I outdid my mom by a quarter of an inch, but despite what my dad kept saying, I never got that growth spurt in college that sent him to a respectable 6 feet tall. Then there’s the bubble butt and that’s definitely from his side of the family. And to balance it out on the front, yep, you got it. Thanks mom for making sure I was well-endowed. I am slim and in shape, but majority of the athletes I compete against have no butt and no chest. You just don’t see it in the swimming world. Well, gotta love it. Onward and outward.
8:17 am: Start of the 1650 free – my race. I’m feeling the jitters, but my body is ready. With swimming and long distance running in the genes, I could not feel more primed for this race. I love that feeling of working so hard and my body was made for it.
8:22 am: About halfway through the race. It’s a close call for first between me and the girl next to me. Battling away the first 30 lengths side-by-side, it’s going to come down to who wants it more. Who’s got more fight. Who just hates to lose. If I could look in the stands, I think my parents would probably have their fists clenched, sitting on the edge of their seats, tense and in a world not to be disturbed until the race is over. This is a competition and if I win, they win. Some people have that competitive blood in them and even though swimming is one of the most boring, un-spectator-friendly sports out there, it still brings out the competitive side in my parents. And as I’m sure you have figured out by now, it certainly brings out the competitive side in me.
8:35 am: Race is over. I’m exhausted, but invigorated. Inside, I am a raging ball of fury, but that will never be seen by the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it was not a win. I shake the girl’s hand and thank her for what a great race it was. We both did best times so we both won. Always be a good sport. That was instilled in my character at an extremely young age. You would never know just how competitive my family is until you see us in the midst of a race. That’s the way to do it.
12:00 pm: Swim meet’s over and now it’s back to school things; it’s time to work on my project – and with my (slightly incapable) project group, I can feel the frustration building.
12:15 pm: Think peaceful thoughts. Pretend you’re floating in the ocean, self. Positive self-talk.
12:30 pm: I might be balding because I am starting to pull out my hair.
1:00 pm: Ok, my parents are as white as can be and I’m white as a ghost as well of course. But right now my face is about as red as it gets after being in the sun on a hot summer day without my SPF 50. I’m texting my mom my frustrations and she’s getting just as angry. A lot of help she is – wonder where I get it from.
3:30 pm: I’m out the door for a 6 mile run. I know there was a swim meet today, but I just like to do things. I come from a family of do-ers. It’s in our blood and people think I’m crazy, but my family doesn’t even think twice. Probably because they’re all out going for their runs too, or bike ride, or rock climbing, or swim. We do a lot.
9:30 pm: Desperately struggling to stay awake, I am sprawled on the couch hoping to make it until 10pm tonight. Sadly, staying up later does not directly coordinate to sleeping later in the morning. Send the parents a goodnight text – no response. Oh wait, my little early birds are already out for the night. On that note, looks like I should be a good offspring a follow suit! As much as I may sometimes try to deny it, this apple did not fall far from the tree at all.