i was just sitting on tumblr and scrolling through my dashboard and thinking about why i didn't blog about leigh-ann palmer last year.
honestly. it's a thing that happened. that happens every year. every june.
last year, instead of leigh-ann palmer, i blogged about... blogging. and my parents asking silly questions about blogging.
"that wasn't rhetorical."
right. well this year, my parents aren't leaving for utah. in fact, they just came back from biking all around the east coast, and my brother is home, so now, for the first time all summer, my entire family is under one roof.
here's the run down. and here's where you say, oh god, another big swim meet that emily hates? and she's going to blog about it? damn. i've read it all. good night.
but please, dear reader, this is different from pete johnston. so keep calm and keep reading my blog.
leigh-ann palmer was a three year old girl that drowned at avalon's pool in 1994. she would be my age. the second year that i coached, the meet was a really big deal because she would've graduated from high school. we released balloons.
because of how small she was at the time of her drowning, this meet is for ten and unders. instead doing eight and unders and nine tens as one age group, the kids swim with their true age levels.
six and under, seven, eight, nine, and ten.
leigh-ann palmer is never a fun meet for coaches. in fact, it's infinitely worse than pete johnston. it's longer. hotter. and with small children.
in 2010, the year that i graduated, the meet started at eight thirty and it did not end until three thirty in the afternoon. it was also ninety-eight degrees.
i almost walked out. so did a lot of people. i actually fell asleep in the locker room.
but this year was different. probably because the twins and i get along so well and we just love working with our kids.
and we carpooled. like adults. or maybe like children.
wake up time: five fourteen am. i made old fashioned oatmeal downstairs without my glasses on, which is probably why it exploded all over the microwave. i stuck the big gooey mess in the fridge and proceeded to shower.
shoulda shaved. didn't. didn't care.
when i got back downstairs in my coaching shirt, i had to clean out the microwave. and i had to pack all my food, my camp chair, and my bag with my big clipboard that says COACH EMILY and extra pens and high lighters and stuff.
the twins arrived at six. we put our camp chairs, our tarp, and our coolers in the trunk.
our tent didn't fit in my trunk. oops.
so hannah squished in my back seat and became BFFs with our tent. she tweeted about it. it was a day of tweeting.
number one tweet was a quote from nine year old haley: "she's not SERENADING us, she's MARINATING us!" (hashtag #thingskidssayatswimmeets.)
i live behind starbucks. (and a chocolate factory!) so we pull in through the drive thru. and we're like, THREE LARGE JAVA CHIPS, PLEEEEASE.
we get to the pick up window. i hand them a five from each of the twins and my debit card. the lady looks in my car and stares.
starbucks lady: where ya'll going this early in your matching shirts?
emma: SWIIIIM MEEET
hannah: only swimmers get up this early for competition.
me: we're the coaches.
starbucks lady: god love ya. i can't work with kids.
me: we're not sure why we do.
hannah's when we had our starbucks: we really love our kids. we do this for our kids.
i didn't love kids when i drove all the way out to the fuggin' airport for this meet. this meet is in the middle of nowhere.
we got lost in the neighborhood. just like every year. and some angry lady from poco was tailgating me while i was trying to dodge parked cars. she didn't smile when i waved at her.
but we were the first coaches there, and we set up the tent and the tarp by ourselves with only two casualties!
|mandatory starbucks picture.|
2. i also got a blood blister on my pinky trying to raise the tent. pinch pinch OWWW.
we had a swimmer there when that happened. i jumped up and down and screamed "EXPLETIVE! EXPLETIVE! EXPLETIVE!"
did i say that we only had two casualties? those were MY casualties.
but i think hannah might've stubbed her toe at one point.
we had a fast warm up where emma and i accosted ryan, a recent graduate of my high school that both of us swam with. i had the pleasure of watching ryan swim at state, and i have a shirt with his name puffy painted on the back. if it was possible, ryan had grown to six foot seven since the last time i had seen him.
he was wearing an eight year old girl's robe and had his toenails painted.
summer swim coaches have no shame.
there was a heat sheet fiasco and i actually got a decent look at leigh-ann palmer's mother. it broke my heart when she said that she would've been twenty-one next week.
and then the meet was off.
we had nineteen children all under the age of ten. sixteen of them were girls. i wasn't going to complain. boys under the age of ten are almost impossible to control. i know this from experience.
before the meet started, the twins and i were showing the girls our pictures from our cupcake baking extravaganza yesterday. and we were listening to hakuna matata on my phone.
because of course, i have the entire broadway sountrack on my phone.
and then once the meet starts, it's coach emily time!
i'm standing at the far end with the girl's eight and under medley relay, and i realize that i'm seeing like, five people from my church. and they're all smiling at me because i'm jumping up and down and i'm screaming GO GIRLS! GO! TWO HAND TOUCHES! GO GIRL GO GO GO! but seriously, church people. awkward.
my voice is gone, by the way. seven hours of cheering will do that to you. and dancing. i made up a dance for all four strokes. with singing. even the seven year olds were embarrassed by me.
the sun rose too fast. i took a break to put on sunscreen and chow down on blueberries with emma, after violently ejecting two girls out of my chair.
coach emily does not enjoy wet little girl butt prints in her camping chair. neither does coach emily's daddy, whom the chair belongs to.
by the time that the meet is fully underway, hannah and emma are realizing that we are absolutely covered in girls.
so what do we do?
we start singing annie. you know, miss hannigan. right? please tell me you know annie.
"little girls, little girls, night and day i eat sleep and breathe them."
"some women are drippin' with diamonds. some women are drippin' with pearls. lucky me, lucky me, look at what i'm drippin' with! littttttle girrrrls!"
look it up. kathy bates is incredible.
when the girls weren't around, we sang the part that went "if i wring little necks surely i would get an acquittal."
we can't sing that around our children.
because these kids are small and it's their first big meet for a lot of them, as soon as you have down time and you go and sit in your chair underneath the tent, they converge.
"coach emily! what's my next event?" "coach emily, what event are they on?" "am i swimming freestyle?" "coach emily, did you see my backstroke? was it good?"
goodness, gracious, children. i am trying to eat food.
while i was chowing down on a bag of pretzels, a bunch of the girls started to scream.
|yep. you would scream too.|
the girls wanted to kill him. so i guilted them by saying, "what if bugs were really big, and they said, 'euww it's a human, let's step on it?'"
they got reeal quiet. the power of being a pacifist vegetarian.
so mr. stone and i put the poor little guy on a used pizza plate and transferred him to a tree where he could be happy, shed his shell for a little kid to pluck, turn into a cicada, and hum away the end of summer.
am i the only one that picked cicada shells of trees and collected them? someone? anyone?
speaking of pizza, coaches get a "meal" ticket. good for one hotdog, a side and a drink, or a piece of pizza and a drink.
obviously, i don't do hotdogs.
|pizza! and emma being cute.|
we eat it in the snack area like good coaches. we throw away our plates.
swear to god, that pizza made me hungrier.
so i went back and ate MORE pretzels. and string cheese. because swim meets are made up of pretzels and string cheese.
they were making sno cones at concessions. they were a dollar, no tax.
i used my ONE remaining dollar to get a lime sno cone, and it was absolutely disgusting. i gotta get myself to a bank.
but i did feel pretty awesome with my bright green sno cone, cheering on my kids. and the ice cooled me off, no matter how nasty it was.
we only had one girl cry when she missed an event. so i gave her a big hug and i told her that everybody missed an event at least once, this was her first meet, and everything that she had done had been awesome, and i was super proud of her.
i was told by a parent that hannah and emma and i were great female role models and that we had a passion for swimming, and she was so happy that we were her daughter's coaches.
i was highly flattered. and she's right.
swimming is a passion. it's too crazy to be anything else.
we had a great time cheering on our kids, giving high fives, and singing the single ladies song in front of the bathroom. ryan wouldn't join us. especially when we started on the dance.
at the very end of the meet there was a coaches relay. there weren't enough of us, so we sat down and watched as the orchard ridge female coaches absolutely dominated.
i don't know how old julie is. probably older than my mother. but that woman has a hell of a breaststroke.
the meet was over by one fifteen. LEIGH-ANN PALMER SUCCESS.
on the half hour drive back, we waved excitedly at truckers. two of them waved back. we danced in my car. and of course, when we got to my house, we had to look at the pie that we had made yesterday.
it was supposed to have set in two hours. we had kept that thing in my fridge for a day.
we cut into it in my kitchen. it started to bleed cream. we poked at it and giggled.
our caffeine had worn out. pies bleeding cream was undoubtedly hilarious.
i gave the pie to the twins and we gave us each other a big "we survived leigh-ann palmer" hug.
it was a good day.