It’s neither good nor bad we aren’t a sports family—it just is.
Most sports happen during the school year when we (the royal) struggle to keep up with academics. In addition, during any free moments after school, there are other activities she’d rather do.
And we move as a family.
Recently, however, the Child changed her mind and announced she wanted to try swim team.
I immediately agreed it was a great idea.
I was thrilled to have a reason to be there 5 nights a week as it seemed a far better idea than lurking in the weight room asking strangers:
I thought she’d have fun.
I hoped I’d make a few new friends.
I ended up learning more than I’d anticipated about my double digit sidekick.
She thinks quickly on her feet.
(grainy photo thanks to the wee hour o’the morn.)
Sure, we plan ahead and sign her up for heats. Yes, we prepare and assemble her stuff the night before.
Always, come meet day, things switch, shift and change.
Summer swim team has afforded me the opportunity to watch her in action as she problem solves.
I’ve been able to see her find herself a little lost, use context clues, and problem solve. That’s a big deal around here.
She’s even more resilient than I’d thought.
(goggles slip mid-race? start off doing wrong stroke? no worries!)
Once upon a time she was signed up for a medley when she’d never raced more than a length.
Once upon the same time she wasn’t aware of this fact even as she dove into the water.
She figured it out mid-swim, didn’t stop and climb out mid-race, swam and swam and swam, announced her displeasure when she was finished and moved on.
She’s not one to ruminate. (I might have ruminated.)
She’s not one to flog that dead equine to the parent who made the error. (I might have flogged.)
She didn’t waste time looking backward. She focused on the windshield and not the rear-view mirror.
She’s happy with her best.
Even though it’s a competition, even though she’d love her team to win, she simply shows up and does her best.
She knows if she shows up & gives whatever her 100% is that day—it’s enough.
Yes, she’s happy if she did better than the last meet. And if she doesn’t? She doesn’t beat herself up over it.
She looks forward. To the next practice. To the next meet. To the next opportunity to give her best.
She’s discovered her stress reliever.
Swim team began at the end of school when we were ready for unstructured play, yet teachers insisted on assigning homework.
Afternoons were hectic and, as we walked into practice one evening, she said to me:
You know how if you have a hard day…like a big test or something…and you go into the water and it just wraps around you and calms you? Swim team is like that for me.
Swim team is like that for me.
Her words felt like a mic drop of sorts.
She’d taken what I’d viewed as “only” an athletic pursuit and and shown me how much more it was.
Swim team provided me opportunities to see her confidence and resilience in action and it also gave her the chance to learn a crucial life skill: how to self-soothe (AKA how to lick her forearms).
It remains to be seen if we’ve changed into a sports family.
I don’t yet know if she’s changed into a full-on sports kid.
Only weeks into the season, however, I do know I’ve learned practically as much about my child as I had in the decade prior.
And what I’ve learned makes me smile.
Eat my BUBBLES!