The Shirt
Casey, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

It was a Thursday in July, and we were at our beach house in the Outer Banks, NC. I woke up to the smell and taste of the salty sea air, the feel of the soft blankets that cocooned me. I could hear the sounds of the video games that were being played one room over and I could see the shapes of my cousins starting to form through my hazy eyes. My cousins—Alex, Claire, Colin, and Sarah—and my brothers—Jack and Dan—came in and we walked up to the kitchen that was on the third floor. My stomach rumbled as my early morning legs trudged up two flights of stairs.

When we got to the kitchen there was a sweet smell of coffee that my Pop-Pop was brewing. We all grabbed our breakfast and went to the table. We saw seven bright red shirts laid out; each one had one of our names written on it in bright colors.
My Pop-Pop then told us that these would be our uniforms for our family's 2012 Summer Olympics! He then told us all the games we would be playing and how the teams would be broken up. There are three teams: Jack, Dan, and I; Alex and Claire; and Colin and Sarah.

We all were so excited and thanked the one and only Pop-Pop, artsy, fun and, strong, for this great idea and went back downstairs to get our bathing suits on.

The clear water of the pool, crowded with myriad inflatable toys and loungers, waited for us. We all jumped in and began to practice; I tested my brothers on speed and agility. I watched as the sweat from the heat rolled down my brothers’ faces. I knew I was working them hard but I knew I needed to. I am very competitive, so I wanted to win.

Finally it was night time, and it was time for the Olympics to begin! I could taste the bitterness of rivalries starting to arise! There was an opening ceremony followed by instructions on how each event would be played. I was pumped and I could feel the energy circling throughout my whole body. My brothers and I had a pep talk and we got started.

After a plethora of fun activities—cup stacks, swim relays, Frisbee tosses, jump rope, and hopscotch—we went upstairs. We were joined by the parents and my grandparents. As we ate our ice cream, we got the final scores. We came in first, followed by the stalemate between Alex and Claire and Colin and Sarah. I looked over at Dan when they announced us the winners. He had a smile on from ear-to-ear, and it warmed my heart. I went over to my brothers and gave them both huge hugs.

I will always keep my red shirt close to me because it reminds of a great family bond. Family means the world to me and I love having friendly rivalries and fun times to remember. There will always be bumps in the road, but if we stay together we are invincible.

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