We lost the swim meet last night by 200 points. I wasn’t supposed to “work” (each parent is required to volunteer for two meets) but nobody showed up to be scorekeeper so I did it. It was in an air conditioned room, which was a definite draw; but, I think more than that I simply wanted a purpose to being there. Brian was sick, so he wasn’t swimming. Ben swam like every 30 minutes or so—and sitting there beside the pool for 5 hours watching all the races didn’t appeal to me at all.

So, I “helped out” by stepping in to be scorekeeper.

The egos are there, at the summer rec league swim meets. The coaches arguing over whether or not it is appropriate to DQ (disqualify) swimmers with the improper breast stroke kick at age 8 and the parents worried that their child’s time is wrong or their child should be in a scoring lane.

This is the great thing about being scorekeeper. I get to stay in the middle of things without really participating. I’m so busy tallying every race with my head down in the paper so all this goes on around me and nobody expects me to comment or give my opinion. I like it this way. I’ve never been comfortable around bad-mouthing, arguing or egos…I like to stay below the radar and let it pass all around me. I pick sides in my head, judging who is right, who is wrong, who needs to just shut up and who needs to let things go my goodness it’s just a swim meet. But I keep my mouth shut.

One of the coaches tried to drag me into the whole DQ scenario but I kept an aloofness about me and my nose in my paper with my simple math.

First place is 5 points. Second 3, third 2, fourth 1 point. Relays only have two scoring lanes, 7 and 4. A bunch of us swam summer rec league when we were kids so we all think we know a better way to do things and we reminisce about the “old days” and the way it used to be done, how the “everybody gets a ribbon” is the reason kids are all fucked up these days… la la la everybody has an opinion. I just wish there were more people like me and just kept them to themselves.

This morning after saying my prayers I looked ahead to tomorrow. The subject is “Vanity in Daily Life.” My favorite subject! Vanity. I recognized in the beginning of my spiritual journey that I had a problem with vanity. This first paragraph is GREAT:

“My child, vanity is another name for foolish expectation and useless pretense. Some people expect too much from the good things of this world. Others pretend to be bigger than they really are and try to attract more attention than they deserve.”

I love this. This is so me in my rot. Growing up I was starving for attention, all the attention but obviously I couldn’t get it because I had ten siblings also starving for their own attention. This vanity thing resonates with me. This is one of my main problems and I pray God to remove it from me.

Oh how great it would be to not want the attention of others, to not want more than I have. As I kid, I think I was a show off. Andraya says I wasn’t, but I think I was, looking back. I was good at pretty much everything but never learned the skills that have to go with that, the graciousness you need to have when you’re the best at something. Now I wasn’t a big loud mouth show off. I just did things like gymnastics, diving, swimming, tennis and I was always one of the best. I was always one of the best at school too, in elementary school always making As and being good.

I kept to myself… But I hadn’t learned how to bring others along with me, help others below me, take others’ feelings into account. I just did my thing and stood tall, expecting and hoping for the praise and attention. Sometimes I got it and sometimes I didn’t.

One of my close friends was not good at anything. She wasn’t athletic at all. She was always along for the ride. Hmmm. I look at kids now, my kids, and see the ones that get all the glory (Ben) and I try to instill in him the humbleness — humility — so necessary with greatness. God wants us to be great for HIM and not for ourselves, not for our own glory.

How in the world do I convey this to my kids? Ugh. Lord, help me teach them Your way, which is truly the only way to true peace. Especially Ben who is good at everything and I notice other kids drawn to him. He has the natural humility already. It’s there. And he isn’t lacking for attention. So, hopefully I can convey to him and Brian that these gifts of natural ability are gifts from God and not because of anything they’ve done. So use the gifts for good.

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