We turned the television on for the Summer Olympics almost every night, delaying Alice’s bath so she could find a spot between us and watch. “Look at those girls!” she would say. Or, “Look at those boys!”
She was especially taken with the diving. She would stand up and fold herself into a pike position – or, something close to it, anyway – count down from three and throw herself down on the mattress.
Her nursery school had an Olympics-themed unit, and one day, she came home with a gold medal. “Because I’m a winner,” she said. (She starts almost every sentence with “because” lately). She wore it across her chest like a bandolier for the rest of her evening.
Alice was born a little before the 2010 winter games in Vancouver, and I still associate her earliest weeks with late, late rebroadcasts of ice dancing and luge, and that soaring Olympic theme song that kept us company when it seemed like the rest of the world and everyone in it were still and sleeping.
Now, more than a week after the gymnastics competitions ended, she is sliding down into clumsy splits on the hardwood floor, then looking up at me for applause.