This morning I set my alarm for 4:45am. I got up and turned on the computer to watch the second day of finals at the World Championships. To be perfectly honest, I almost missed the whole thing. "But you woke up for it," you may be thinking. Well, I did, but then fell asleep on the sofa sometime during the first few heats of the morning. It wasn't until they announced Mark's name that I jumped up. Oh no! I missed my whole I'm-nervous-and-going-to-get sick-or-just-bite-my-nails routine. Bummer--I so enjoy this little ritual.
Mark swam. He added a little time (from a 1.00.19 to a 1.00.5). Mark finished in 8th place. His time from the semi-finals would have put him in 5th place. Oh well. C'est la vie. I picked up my phone immediately to text him. But what to say? I was stuck (and this is rare for me). So I simply said, "Love you." About a half an hour later I got a reply, "Love you, too." I replied once more with, "I am proud of you." But, was this the right thing to say? I knew he would be a little disappointed. Believe me.... I analyzed this for the next hour or so. See, this is what I do. I analyze. Then I over analyze. Sometimes I'll analyze various subjects aloud in Mark's presence and finally he'll look at me and say, "Let it be, Ash. That horse is dead, and has been, yet you keep beating the poor thing."
Later, on our way to daycare, Mark called. I said hello and then asked how he was. Was this the right thing to ask? Ugh. Mark and I started dating almost 11 years ago. We've been married more than four years. We are buddies and share most everything, but at a moment like this I'm at a loss for words. After a fairly short conversation we said goodbye. He was in good spirits and looking forward to his upcoming swims in the 50m breaststroke and the relay. He's got a full week ahead of him still and certainly doesn't need this swim wife beating anymore dead horses. So, I'll let it be and try to remember the new leaf I tried to turn last summer.
For the first couple of weeks of Mark's trip, Annabelle would say, "Daddy?" and I would say, "Daddy is on an airplane." She got a kick out of this. She would mimic an airplane flying and make a sound like "Wooooooooooo" Now when she asks, "Daddy?" I say, "Daddy is swimming." She then pumps her fist and says, "Go! Go! Go!" What a good little fan. She has also fallen in love with Eric Shanteau. Mark and Eric room together often and are roommates this week, too. So, every time we Skype with Mark we get to see and talk to Eric. Shortly after Annabelle asks about her dad she then asks about Eric (by name which makes Eric's wife a little jealous) and I say that Eric is swimming, too. Just like Daddy. Eric gets a fist pump and a "Go! Go! Go!" too. She does not limit her support to just her own dad. Annabelle is a proud supporter of Team USA in its entirety.