Thursday, June 26, 2008


Today is Laura's last swim meet for the neighborhood swim team. Praise Jeebus! It has been really fun, but we are tired. Or I am tired. But no more 9am practice every day and no more five-hour meets on Thursday nights. The meets have been tricky for Matt and me, because usually I have to work as a "bullpen" helper, getting the 7-8 year-old girls lined up for their events and at the right end of the pool. All the swimmers have their event, heat, and lane numbers written on their arms in Sharpie, but there's still a lot of chaos and a lot of last-minute changes. Last week some woman was yelling in my face about how my swimmers were going to miss their relay (five events in the future) if I didn't GET GOING. Honey, chill. Also, who are you? Because no one has ever seen you before.

So when you add Hank to the swim meet equation, the whole thing is a major handful. Keeping him out of the pool and in sight while doing all the bullpen stuff is next to impossible, so Matt leaves work early and picks him up at from the meet, hopefully before I really need to get the girls organized. Then L and I are free to slap mosquitoes and cheer our lungs out until after dark.

This is somewhat off the topic of this blog, but I just wanted to note the end of swim season, which really shaped our whole routine for the last month, and to say how proud I am of Laura for sticking it out a second year. She competed in all four strokes--freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke--and it was really fun to watch her do well at something that I just totally don't know how to do. (I sure never learned all those strokes.)

Last year, swimming with the 5 and 6 year-olds, she was one of the biggest and fastest. This year, though, some of the 7-8 year olds are really quite a bit bigger and more experienced. (A few girls in that group are 9 now and going into the 4th grade.) So Laura bounced back and forth between the 'A' and 'B' relay teams for her age group. Backstroke is her best event. In the County swim meet last Saturday, she placed 14th out of 63 swimmers in the 25m backstroke, with a time of 25 seconds. I was really proud of her, especially considering some of these kids swim competitively year-round. Being her mom and all, I may not be objective.

One of the highlights of the season was last Thursday, when we had a meet at our home pool. The 9-10 girls had a relay swimmer drop out suddenly, and Laura got asked to fill a spot in their freestyle relay. She was so nervous--a 7 year-old swimming with the big girls! The nine and ten year-olds waiting with her were very sweet and encouraging. She was the fourth swimmer, and as she swam to the end of the lane, she just barely beat the swimmer next to her who had managed to narrow the lead of L's team. A girl who had been the second swimmer in the relay, Abby, was waiting for Laura and cheering. When Laura pulled herself out of the pool, Abby said "Wow! You beat an older girl!" It was a sweet moment. Laura looked thrilled, and I could tell she was restraining herself from looking REALLY thrilled.

I do hope she'll stay interested in swimming and that she'll want to compete again next year. One day we were driving and I was talking about how much she's learned, and how much she's improved, and how much faster and stronger she can get if she keeps at it, and how it's great to have a sport you can do in addition to school, and on and on. Laura listened and then said, "Mom, you don't have to be good at everything."

That's my girl!


Amy said...

How sweet! I love the part about her in the relay race. She is so precious--sounds like she's keeping it all in perspective. :)

Veronica said...

Good on Laura!!