The Champion is sound asleep on the sofa; face down, one leg straight, dangling, the other pulled up to her chest. She sleeps like me. And snores like her father.
She’s been up since 5:30 this morning running the adult squad at the swim school where she teaches part time. University is over for the year so her days are spent working split shifts at the pool, lounging about with her friends and having coffee with me.
Some days her friends are busy so this hyper-social child resorts to her mother for extended companionship.
“What are you doing today Mommy?” she asked over our ritual morning coffee.
“Are you busy?”
Of course I’d mapped out my day. It involved shuffling bits of paper in the office and editing grant applications and websites. A load of washing waited patiently to be hung out to dry. I planned to visit the bank and the rubbish tip, for a withdrawal from one and a deposit at the other.
But I can’t resist this gorgeous kid’s smile and her to-do list always seems so much more pressing. So I ditched my plans and hitched my day to hers. We did go to the bank for my financial errand. Then I sat with her while she applied for a credit card, running interference with the banker who tried to sell her income protection insurance and financial planning advice.
Then, on a whim, we drove to the city and trawled the streets looking for a cheap metred park. We found one, which meant she could have her eyebrows threaded and collect her repaired watch from the jeweller. I bought some new undies and chocolate covered pecans – life’s essentials – then drove the kid home for a nap.
Now I’m sitting on the front deck enjoying the breeze. Summer’s threatening but yet to launch a full-blown attack. A distant car alarm and a droning leaf blower the only sounds disturbing an otherwise peaceful afternoon. And mosquitos.
It’s Speech Day at The Ballerina’s school. She’s been at the venue all day, rehearsing then performing in the school choir. Next year I’ll be there too, my last school graduation. But for now I’m enjoying a lull in life’s madness, a quiet afternoon before the demands of dance concerts and national fencing tournaments and Christmas take over.