The past week has been, how shall I put this…
So I’m just going to take a moment to shamelessly brag because hidden in the bullshit there have been a couple of memorable moments. Good memorable moments.
This past weekend we had a swim meet.
Numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7 swam in it, and I also coached it.
If you aren’t familiar with swimming, the spring/summer season is referred to as long course season. It’s called long course season because most of the meets are held in a 50 meter pool (the same size they swim in at the Olympics). During the winter season, you swim in a 25-yard pool.
So the pools for summer meets are more than twice the distance of the pools you swim in in the winter season.
Sunday was Number 7’s first long course meet. At 5 years old, she was the youngest kid there.
She was very excited to be at the meet.
“MOMMMY! This is SO FUN!” she said to me Sunday morning.
She was pretty psyched to be at a “big kid” meet with her older brother and sisters.
It was chilly when we left the house at 6:30 a.m. It was only around 45° outside.
So I didn’t have her get in the pool for warm up before the meet started. She would have frozen her butt off once she got out.
She was in her pajamas until her very first event.
Number 7 has swum in this pool for fun many, many times. But she has never actually competed in a race. She has never tried to make it from one end to the other as fast as possible in a meet with a bunch of big kids where she is the youngest and the smallest.
It was her decision to swim in the meet. I asked her if she wanted to, and I let her pick her events. But I wasn’t sure what would happen when it was actually go time. In fact, I asked all my mom friends if they wanted to place a wager on whether or not she would actually swim.
When she got up to the blocks for her first event, the 50 breaststroke, she totally freaked out. She burst into tears. She shook her head. No. No no no no no.
Standing at the end of a 50 meter pool is intimidating for me. So I wasn’t surprised by her reaction. It was a holy shit this is a fucking longass pool kind of reaction.
She didn’t end up swimming.
She was upset. And sad. And probably a little bit embarrassed.
But she was also pissed.
And after she stopped crying, I asked her if she wanted to try again when it was time for her next event — 50 meter backstroke.
She nodded her head yes.
So we went up to the blocks.
Let me say something before I get to the rest of the story.
Coaching your own kids is both a gift and a challenge.
I feel very lucky to have been able to coach all of my kids. Being a part of getting Number 4 to Zones this past season and helping her fulfill her biggest life goal to date was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
But holy shit is it hard.
My kids don’t listen to me the way they listen to other coaches. And it’s difficult to stay calm and patient when they are screwing around at practice (yes, they definitely screw around) or when they are overly dramatic or when they aren’t performing to the level I know they can.
But on the other hand, I get to be right there with them for the successes.
As a coach and a mom and a former swimmer who has been in their shoes and who gets it, that’s a pretty special experience to have.
So when it was time for Number 7’s next event, she was determined.
She got right up to the blocks.
She hopped into the water.
And she swam the cutest little 50 meter backstroke I’ve ever seen.
And you know what? She didn’t even come in last! She beat two nine years olds.
She’s a little badass.
And she’s a reminder, too. Fall down seven times stand up eight.
So amidst the bullshit of the past week, that happened.
I’m a proud mom, for sure.
And to be able to stand behind her — both literally and figuratively — every step of the way, well, for that I am super grateful.