Ellie takes a bow. She deserves it.
Wow. I can’t believe I survived Saturday March 24.
It was the trifecta of youth activity insanity. It was going to be hard enough because Ellie had a soccer doubleheader the same day as the championship swim meet for the league in which she swims. Then Ellie’s science project won first place for her grade at her elementary school and we got an invitation to the citywide science fair, also on the same day!
Ellie wanted to do it all, so I agreed to chauffeur her everywhere. The science fair was her first priority, since it was such a unique opportunity. But she also wanted to swim and play soccer.
I got her to Nauticus at 8:30 to set up her project and initially we were told we couldn’t leave because we had to attend orientation at 9:30 (the meet started at 9am). Someone else overheard she and I discussing it and told us we could leave as long as we were back by 10:15 when the judging started, which gave us plenty of time for at least her first event the 50 free.
We drove over to Huntersville Rec and Ellie had time to change there and get in the zone. She swam a great 50, leading for much of the race, but slipping to 2nd by a hair at the end. Still she broke 40 seconds for the first time with a 39.72, which moves her up another level in the USA Swimming qualifying times. She now has a BB time each in free and in breast. And she’ll get a medal for the second since it was the championship!
Then we headed back to Nauticus, arriving in time for the orientation, which started 20 minutes late. Then Ellie went off for the judging. They weren’t through with her until 11:30.
In the meantime, Michele went to the pool to buy Ellie a meet t-shirt. I called as we left and found out that Ellie’s breast stroke event was next. We had four heats to get her there. I got lucky with the lights and flew over there while Ellie changed into her swimsuit in the car. We pulled up and she jumped out and ran barefoot into a back door of the pool that Michele held for her and onto the starting blocks. She swam the event, but had probably shot any adrenaline getting ready, so she didn’t place. But still, she was game and happy she got a chance to swim.
I wrapped a towel around her and ushered her out to the car quickly. And we were off for her first soccer game at noon at Lake Taylor. She changed in the car again and we arrived minutes before the game kicked off, wet hair and all. Her team got behind early, but fought back and only lost 4-3 to a tough team with good ball handlers. Ellie had a couple of chances, but couldn’t convert.
Immediately after the game we drove back to Nauticus to pick up her project and attend the awards ceremony at 2pm. To make a long story somewhat shorter, Ellie’s project won first place in life sciences for the 4th grade citywide! I was shocked, awed and so proud.
But we still had another soccer game to play. Back in the car, back to Lake Taylor. She had time to warm-up with the team. This game went better. They got behind again early 2-0, but roared back. Playing much better together in the second game, the girls scored 7 unanswered goals, including two by Ellie.
We finally got home about 5:15, but we weren’t done. Michele and I went to the Virginia Press Association banquet at the Marriott. It was hard after an exhausting day. I just wanted to sit at home and enjoy a beer instead of hobnob. But it was definitely worth it. The Pilot’s Business section won first place among the state’s large dailies and the team got several second places, mostly related to our coverage of the Ford plant closing. And the newspaper won the sweepstakes overall award. Very cool.
Now I must sleep.