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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
 
A Mothering Moment
Yesterday I enrolled Stretch (our 10 year-old son) in the novice swim team in our town. This is not a namby-pamby swimming lesson but an honest to goodness workout, Monday through Thursday. In the middle of the session, there is an actual swim meet. I thought it was time. He thought he was ready. That is, until he got there. He was surprised by the rigorous swimming. He had to swim two laps of an Olympic sized swimming pool; not mess around, but actually swim freestyle. After two laps, he got out of the pool, spoke to the coach and came up to the bleachers to see me.

“I can’t breathe in the water.” He said.

“You just aren’t used to that amount of exercise.” I said.

Nevertheless, scared and shaking he asked the coach to be excused early and we left.

All night he complained. He was too weak to swim that far. The other people were watching him and that frightened him. He couldn’t breathe. The other children were all stronger swimmers. You get the picture.

I need to stress that I am his mother, not his father. I would have liked nothing better than to tell him that he never had to go back to the nasty large pool to be pushed around by the mean old coach. My better parenting instincts prevailed, however and I told him that he would have to go every evening and try his best and that we could discuss the issue on Friday. After all, it is not the Bean way to be a quitter.

Today was the second session. We just returned home from swim team and I think it would be fair to say that Stretch kicked butt! Did he have the best form? No. Half the time he looks more like he’s drowning. Was he the fastest? No. Did he finish all his laps? Yes. And, afterwards gave me thumbs up from the pool. Me! The woman whose mere existence embarrasses him. Afterwards I told him that I was prouder of him than I had ever been.

“You know,” he said “before I started I knew you would be proud of me.”

It’s all about a positive attitude.
Comments:
I was on the swim team in high school. For three years I competed in one of the toughest sports out there, but one of the best.

Swimming will build your son into a real physical specimen. It will provide discipline and other skills that will serve him well.

I loved doing it and found it to be very enjoyable.
 
Mrs. Ralphie was on a swim team as a kid. And her sister was apparently some sort of swimming monster. As for me, the summer I got my advanced life saving certificate I was pretty good, but it was all downhill from there. And my brother once was involved in a swimming relay race. He was so slow and didn't come up for air for so long the lifeguards tried to save him. Turns out he just didn't know how to swim and had tremendous lung power.
 
I have a love-hate relationship with swimming. I've always been afraid of what, yet taught myself to swim at the age of thirteen. At first, I would only sleep in extremely shallow water, but then I learned to swim very deep and wouldn't have it otherwise. The only problem is, I enjoying swimming deep and for a long time without stopping only as long as no one reminds me how deep I'm swimming. If someone does, I immediately panic!!
 
Thanks for the comments guys. I don't think he'll ever actually be a competitive swimmer. But at least he is getting over his fears and gaining confidence.
 
The important thing is that you're teaching him not to be a quitter.
 
that's a really cool story. I hope I can be that way with the boyz as they get older.

(*)>
 
Update: Stretch is actually too weak of a swimmer to be on the team. However, they have offered him (and some of the other poorer swimmers) 2 hours of lessons after the usual swim team time. He has been going, enjoying it and swimming his little tush off every day.
 
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