Each of my nieces and nephews is unique, special, and talented in her or his own way, and I love and adore them all. But this blog post tells a little story about my sister Deanna’s middle child, Astrid.
In December 2010, I stayed for a week with Deanna and her family–Astrid and her two sisters, Mackenzie and Mia, and De’s husband David–in Boston, where they live, while I was touring New England for my Mamalita Book Tour. I probably don’t have to tell you that Boston in winter is cold, and I mean frigid. Even after piling on multiple layers of down and fleece, including gloves and hat, I never stopped shivering.
But every morning at 5 AM, in the bedroom next to mine, an alarm would go off. As I burrowed more deeply under my covers, I could hear my niece Astrid rustle around quietly before tiptoeing down the stairs to the kitchen, where her father David clutched two mugs of steaming hot tea. David was waiting to drive his daughter to swim practice, and had already warmed up the car.
Off they’d go, so Astrid could swim a few thousand yards, with David, himself a former collegiate swimmer, helping coach the team. A full day at high school for Astrid followed, and afterwards, for good measure, another two hours in the pool.
As any parent with a child knows, you can’t “make” someone practice like that. That kind of fierce determination comes from inside. A child either wants to, or she doesn’t. And ever since she was a little girl, Astrid has wanted to. She still does.
I find that utterly, impressively amazing.
As I write this, Astrid and her family are in Omaha, Nebraska for the Olympic Swimming Trials. Astrid’s event, the 200 Fly, will take place on Thursday, June 28, around 10 AM Central Standard Time.
Sending best wishes to Astrid, her family, and her teammates. You’ve earned this. ~