Today is my sister’s birthday.
And yes I know, we were only born a day apart (and four years!)
There are just two things that I want to say. One of them has to do with birthdays and the other doesn’t. I’ll start with the non-birthday one first.
I work at the pool, lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. Today was a rainy, cold, thunder filled day and so we got to spend most of the 2 hour lesson time hanging out together as a staff in the rain on the deck, since we couldn’t go in the pool and teach, due to thunder. I don’t always feel as if I fit in at my work place-the swim team coaches can be a bit cliquey and this is my first year working there, so I don’t know all of the older workers very well so there are some awkward moments, but today, as we formed a standing chair circle and did trust falls and laughed as one of our manager described how to make ring bubbles; today as we ate my sister’s birthday cake and gleed over the wonderful sound of thunder and sung the Sound of Music together, I felt like it was my home. And when you add all of the moments from today on top of the moments from staff bowling yesterday, I feel surrounded. I don’t know all of these people that well and not all of them are my favorite people, but I admire each and everyone of them for the energy that they put into teaching those kids how to swim, if not for more. It is one of the most important things in the world for a child to learn, swimming is. It could save their lives one day and as we drown proof these children, the light laughter that echoes through the guard area and the friendly smiles warm my heart. They are my summer family.
The second thing I want to say is indeed birthday related. It is my sister’s birthday today, so we went out to dinner as a family. We ate at this beautiful waterfront restaurant. I’ve never eaten that close to the water, save the two times we went to the beach in Panama. It was beautiful, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, to watch the sun set over the water. And as I sat there and let it all soak into my skin and listened to the wonderful voice of the live singer, I realized some things. It hit me that I was leaving in less than a month but it also hit me that I will be okay. There are somethings that you have to face alone, and college is one of them. But as my sister shared tonight at dinner, there are lessons to be learned and I must face the unknown before I can sit confidently in a chair and state that I have learned this lesson and that lessons. Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have not learned any life lessons, I learn something new everyday. Some lessons just take more than one teaching to learn, and I’m ready to learn them, no matter how long it takes.
Besides, when I get tired of trying to learn, I can always come to my family. They’ll take me, no matter what.