I actually don’t know how I became a swim parent. I am crystal clear on how I became a parent, that part goes without saying but having three girls that swim? I don’t know how that happened. I was destined to have football players. I should have known better when I married the collegiate swimmer but I seriously thought he was kidding when he told me he was comfortable in a Speedo, or that he would make our boys (should we have them) wear one. Yes, he still wears one. The girls turn into world class sprinters when he wears it, I see USA Track and Field recruiters hovering when dad decides to swim laps. My kids hop on the back of the ice cream truck (I swear he follows me through the ATM and only shows up at the pool on the days I have cash) and ride off into the sunset.
As a kid, we didn’t “DO” swim team. Or as my mom would say, “no one DID swim team”. What she really meant is that she took one look at the flyer, describing the five weekly practices, 6AM weekend meet start times and the volunteer requirements and she promptly threw that in the trash (dumping coffee grounds and cigarette butts on top) and signed us up for Indian Princesses, a good excuse for my dad to drink beer around the campfire with his buddies, giving her an entire weekend to herself every month or so. In hindsight, she was brilliant.
Fast forward 20 years. Thanks to a lot of wine, here I am now, proud mother of three. Girls. Grace, the 12 year old diva who flat irons her hair in between events, Sarah the 10 year old ego maniac who thinks a 10 minute 500 free is respectful and Sophie the 7 year old who is best described as THE Coppertone Kid with a booty that was destined for butterfly. Up until this year Grace was the only dedicated swimmer but despite my protest and bribery, the other two have decided to officially retire from all other sports and dedicate their life to swimming. I know it is the nachos. We can talk about that later.
I didn’t become a “swim mom” right away. Now, let’s be clear. “Swim Mom” really means “That Mom”. You can be a dance, soccer, pageant, basketball, softball, baseball, cheer, football mom. We all deal with the same box of crazy. The sports differ. Some of us sit in the rain, the heat, the snow, the gym, the studio, the stadium or the field. But we all SIT. That is our common thread, the glue that binds. We sit. And sit. And sit. And sit some more. I wish to thank Steve Jobs (RIP), on behalf of all moms for inventing the ipad.
But “swim moms” have it the worst. Disagree? Write your own story. Or just enjoy mine – laugh a little, drink a little, cry a little, celebrate our children a lot.