Summer between 3rd and 4th Grade
We move from Burke, Virginia, to Midland, Texas.
Our new neighborhood is full of kids, but I’m afraid to approach them. I stare at them through the mini-blinds in my bedroom. I watch my 15 year-old neighbor sit on the front step talking on a cordless phone. I’ve never seen a cordless phone before. I think she’s amazing.
I start swimming with the local country club. My coach’s name is Joy and she is one. We generally practice at the pool walking-distance from my house. One time, we piled in a car to go to another pool further away. There weren’t enough seat belts so I sat in someone’s lap in the back. I knew I wasn’t supposed to do this. I’ve never told my parents.
We have a big swim meet against all the other country clubs in the area. My coach enters me in the 50 breaststroke with 11 and 12 year-olds because I’m faster than most of the kids in my age group. I’m beaming.
Then, as my event is about to start, I take one look at the other kids competing and run and hide in the bleachers with my mother.
Despite my fear of the other swimmers, I join the local swim team that Fall.