Joined at the Heart · Writers Write

Sports-Day 20

Cherry in the pool at age five.

I talked to friends while Cherry and Coco were in the neighborhood pool.

“Did you hear? Gabby Douglas’s mom filed for bankruptcy. It’s a good thing the kid won, ’cause the family is broke.”

“Ryan Lochte’s family is in the same boat.”

“Yeah, but you know, if you don’t have the money, you shouldn’t try to make your kid into an Olympic athlete.”

Gabby’s mom must have known she was special. The talent, the work ethic, the sparkle was obvious on television. Was Mom wrong? When was she supposed to pull back and ask, Hey, am I in over my head? Am I going to lose my house over that double-whammy-upside-down-with-a-twist dismount? 

At twelve, Cherry wants to be a serious swimmer. She made the club team. It’s expensive. Should we say no?

Langston Hughes asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?”

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