Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Growing up as a tomboy has its benefits

Growing up as a tomboy has its benefits and I saw that yesterday when I went to visit my niece Cameron in my hometown of Vermilion.
When I arrived at my youngest sister Mary's house, Cameron, my Goddaughter, was riding around a pink bike Aunt Kelly bought her for her birthday.
She was so proud.
She especially enjoys ringing the bell to let everyone know she's coming up the driveway. Her first bike reminded me of my first bike. My grandpa actually found it in the trash on someone's front lawn. He spray painted it green and put new tires on it. To me, it drove like it was brand new.
Cameron got off her bike, hopped in the back seat of my car and proceeded to talk for 10 minutes straight until we arrived at the restaurant for lunch.
She is going into third grade so her conversations are very entertaining.
"What are you going to do all summer?" I asked her.
"Swim," she said.
It's exactly the way I spent my summers. My mom took me and my four siblings to the Valley View pool every morning for swimming lessons. Later in the afternoon, we'd swim around for hours like we were experts. By the end of the summer, we had the best tans at the pool.
After lunch (at the old McGarvey's), we went to Main Street Beach where Cameron hopped on one of biggest landmarks in Vermilion - the large anchor in front of the lighthouse. She showed no fear when she balanced herself at the top and put her thumb in the air. It was a windy day and her hair was blowing everywhere, but she didn't care.
She just wanted me to take the picture of her with Lake Erie in the background.
Our last stop was a playground at Sherrod Park, where I spent all of my summers jogging to and from day after day.
The first thing Cameron did was jump on the monkey bars. She bet my mom, sister and I each $5 that she could get to the other side of the playground without stopping. She proceeded to prove it to us three times in a row and collected $15.
Just for a challenge, I jumped on the monkey bars myself. I went about five bars before my arms gave out. My mom, sister and Cameron were laughing at me hysterically.
When I dropped Cameron back off at home, she got out of my car and immediately hopped on her bike.
"Let's go for a walk mommy," she told my sister.
When I drove away, I was so proud to watch Cameron in my rearview mirror riding her bike with a big smile on her face.
There's no better life than growing up as a tomboy.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia


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