I’m not sure if you remember this Sad at Swimming post from a year ago…
This summer I asked Kate if she wanted to do swim team and she said yes but not the meets. After last year, I told her that was fine AS LONG AS she talked to her coach about her plan. I always reflect on how I might have handled that one differently – just in case it happens again or with someone else. I still don’t have the answer. I didn’t think I pushed her into it – the rule in the house is if you sign up for something – you see it through. And, if it’s a sports team you are not only committing to yourself but you are committing to a team and other people are depending on you being there too. As far as what happened last year, it caught me completely off guard because I couldn’t have imagined it. Whether I put that pressure on Kate, or she put it on herself or a combination of the two…
Fast forward to this year. She had her first swim meet. She told me she was going to swim in the meet but start in the pool and she wasn’t going to do the backstroke.
I dropped she and Reilly off at the meet and ran Shea to school. I had taken the morning off to be there because our sitter fell through. By the time I returned I heard the second I walked through the gate “Kate SWAM!!” A number of people cam up and told me. I then learned that our struggle last year, was something many folks remembered and their hearts ached for Kate too… we were all so proud of her. I still hadn’t seen her but I found Reilly. “Hey Reilly, I heard Kate swam???” “Yes, she did, it was great, but she bawled at the end.”
A little perplexed I looked around for Kate. She did in fact swim and cry at the end she told me. She then showed me her hand which had her events written on it: 25 Back; 25 Free; 50 Back; 50 Free. I smiled. I watched her next race and she again came out of the pool sobbing. I tried to extract what the tears were about but I’m not sure she could put a finger on it. Right before her next race I told her I had to take a work call and I would be back… I was hoping to remove any pressure I may have caused. I went to the other side of the pool and took these photos:
As I watched her, I felt my eyes fill up. I was so proud of her… it made me cry. It’s like when I finish a race, I’m so proud of myself for just getting out there and doing it it makes me emotional. Maybe, just maybe Kate is actually proud of herself and not sad or stressed.
I don’t know but what I do know is kids are just amazing people and watching them struggle and learn and grow is such an awesome thing. I can’t stop talking about how much I admire her for doing this in her own mind then doing it on her terms. It’s just awesome.