And she doesn’t like cheaters…

My child was born with this incredible desire to be active.  I knew from Elle’s earliest days in the womb, those days when she’d kick my internal organs around like hackysacks, that she was up to no good.   One morning I called my best friend to announce, “Elle’s crawling!” only to look behind me and see her running down the hall.  Yep, running.  Elle crawled and ran for the first time in a span of approximately 11.2332 seconds.

Jeebus, this kid.

Dance class at age 3.  Yeah, that was fun but I needed to take out a loan to pay for those costumes (which are not priced with the ever-growing population of single moms in mind).  (And I’m not talking about single moms who live in one house while the wonderfully or even half-assedly devoted daddy lives in another house. I’m talking about  SINGLE.  SINGLE MOMS.  The kind that don’t get child support.  But now that I think about it, married couples can’t afford those costumes either so I take all that back.)

Gymnastics started at age 6.  Did you know that Elle morphs into monkey-mode when she’s around the uneven bars?  Yes, it’s true!  A monkey.  There’s no other explanation for how this kid can be the only one in an entire class who does not need a spotter.  Yes, I’m bragging.  You would be, too.  Shaddup.

Elle finally got over herself and started to swim last summer.  Now she can’t stop.  Like a fish.  She’s half-fish.  The kind of fish that runs down the hallway after 9 months of flopping around on a baby blanket like some kind of alien creature who only eats strained carrots and crap like that.  At 9 months.  9 MONTHS!!!  Ya hear that?

Kickball and Dodgeball were introduced to her this year, her 2nd grade year.  The year she took a few hits to the face and still managed to come out looking like a…well, a 2nd grader who took a few dusty playground hits to the face.  Elle’s a tough cookie.  She can doll herself up with makeup and glitter like the rest of those girls but she takes a kick to the face with class.

So last week she broke her arm.  Conveniently enough, I paid out The Wazoo (The Wazoo is where poor people get their money…we don’t have any.  We have to pay through a service called “The Wazoo”) for her to attend a sports camp being held at the University where I work and get paid so little that I have to, occasionally, pay out The Wazoo. 

The sports camp director promises that he will find things for Elle to do, whether it be run the track, gather equipment, play kickball (awesome, Mom!) or be the official scorekeeper (Whoa!  Seriously!? Wow…). 

The gymnastics coach says she’ll have Elle practice some leg bends, get her down to a perfect split, and get her working on her abdominals so that when she returns with two working arms, her bar routines will be incredible…with those awesome ab muscles. 

At this news, my peculiar little child began kissing her left arm, wrapped in a temporary cast, and singing to it. 

“Oh, you spooooil me!!  I love you, cast! LA LA LA LALALA!!”


Ahem,  I mean…

“See, I told you it wasn’t going to be so bad!  So you can’t swim with a cast.  Big whoop. But they’re gonna make you the scorekeeper!”

“Will they teach me how to be a coach’s helper, too?”

“Well, you’re gonna be the scorekeeper and the kid in charge of all the equipment.  I think so!”

She’s so excited for sports camp now.  God, I hope they don’t give her a whistle.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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