My swim BFF

Okay, so I have my swim meet BFF. We don’t see each other often, maybe 2-3 times a year. But when we do, it reminds me just how awesome she is.

How did we meet? At a swim meet. She was had the dreaded double sessions, as did I. I knew I liked her right away. She cheerfully let me look at her heat sheet. A friend indeed. We spent the entire day chatting, a lot of “you are kidding, us too” going on that day. By the end of the day we were facebook friends and had already planned to sit together the following day. By day two our friendship was firmly solidified. So much so that a friend of mine asked how we knew each other and when we told her we had met the day before she almost fell out of the bleachers.

We see each other at the big meets and randomly our kids qualify for all of the same events! We cheer for both girls and she has a boy so we get to cheer for kids in both pools! I am always excited about hanging out with her. Her only downfall is she packs much better lunches than I do, the upside is that I have a good excuse to go out for dinner after the meets!

I think that she and I should start a swim meet site where you can meet and talk to other parents that go to the same meets. You can get to know other parents with similar interests or parenting styles and then you can plan to sit next to them at meets. We could even set up an online seat booking system so you don’t have to sit next to crazy losers (some people might think that because I don’t yell at my kids after meets I am a crazy loser). Almost like a dating site for swim parents. Heck we could even have a single and mingling section.

Back off though, Sherry is spoken for. She is mine.

Your child IS faster than my child, thank you

One thing that really annoys me is when kids are pitted against one another.  I don’t like it from coaches, parents or kid on kid.  It serves no purpose, at least not a useful one.  It generally builds animosity amongst kids.  Don’t we have enough of that already?

I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard kids say “I am going to beat you”.  I have begged my kids never to do it, I can’t promise they haven’t but I really hope not.

It happens in all sports – I have seen it in softball, soccer, track and swimming.  One time this little pip squeak came up to Grace (have I mentioned Grace is quite tall with long legs?) just before the start of a 5K and said “I am going to beat you”.  She was also 2 years younger than Grace.  It didn’t happen.  It was one of those things that couldn’t happen, they had trained together with a group for the 5K.   I know her parents were the type to suggest this as a possibility, I believe it came from them.

It is especially frustrating to see in swimming, a sport less focused on placing and more centered around best times.  Who cares if your kid can beat mine.  No one should. I cringe when I see a kid look immediately to another lane at the end of a race to see if they beat someone.  Look at the clock, this is about beating yourself.

Grace has a friend who she has traded races with for a few years now.  They toggle back and forth on some strokes, one beats the other in others.  And then there is breast stroke.  Anyways, her mother and I love it when the kids swim in the same heat at meets (as they often do).  We KNOW they will both get best times.  They love to compete against each other but they both feel like winners with best times.

Right now her kid IS faster than mine.  I like it better when this is the case, it motivates Grace to try harder in practice.  She wants to hit those same times.   I wish my kids had more friends like this.  Can I get friendly competitors on ebay?

I often joke about Grace’s breaststroke but it is actually getting pretty decent.  I have an obnoxious mom to thank for this.  A summer ago she saw Grace’s time and told her daughter, looky here, you are faster than Grace in breast stoke.  Guess whose mom was standing right behind her?  I looked and Grace’s time was from time trials two summers before.  For giggles I entered her in it at the next meet and she did fair decent.  She clobbered the other kid.  She now swims it at almost every meet and is getting much better.  Ok, so I am not perfect, I enjoyed my “take that you stupid mom” moment.

A very humbling experience is to find your childs national ranking through USA Swimming.  There are 4000 or so 12 year olds faster than Grace in her best event.  Should we quit trying?  I don’t care if that number never changes, I just want to see consistant time drops over a period of time.



Wait listed on pinterest?

I wanted to see what the hype was on pinterest so I sent them an application.

The put me on their wait list. I think they sensed a non-crafty vibe from my lengthy application. (my email address, name and a password).

A few days later I was accepted into the clique. I was so excited to log in to the magical world. And then I did. I don’t get it.

I think I will skip it. Most of my friends repin everything on Facebook. All of them, the same crap. I am so sick of inspirational quotes. I just made room for someone else who has been shunned!

How do you like them apples?

Kids who swim aren’t shy in the bathroom.  They will change clothes or pee in front of anyone.  If you have ever seen a kid trying to put on a tech suit while their body is wet, you know exactly what I mean.

Sophie was changing out of her suit the other day.  I happened to be in the locker room at the time and saw her naked butt sitting on the bench.  I had her get up and explained the bench was full of butt germs.  A few moments later a lady came in, pulled an apple out of her bag, sat it on the bench, put her back back in the locker and then picked up the apple and….yep, took a bite.

Sophie had that look on her face, you know the one, the one that says “I am getting ready to say something that will embarrass the hell out of you”.  I whisked her out of the bathroom.  I will never look at an apple the same again.

I cleaned the girls bathroom today.  The upside of swimming is the free hot showers after practice.  Despite the fact that they never shower at home, their bathroom is disgusting.  I had to use bleach, scrub brushes, gloves and even a putty knife to spruce things up.  What would it be like if they actually used it?

It is clean enough to eat off the floor now.  Even an apple.  I give it 24 hours tops.

Party Foul

My girls love a good party. Me? I see every missed invite as $20 in my wallet and a free afternoon.

The first thing we do when we plan a party is look at the calendar. As a matter of fact, the swim meet schedule is my homepage on the computer and my phone. I can’t plan a trip to Target without consulting if.

The girls were invited recently to a sleepover birthday party on a meet weekend. Sarah’s warm ups were at 6:30 AM. The mother was shocked that I wouldn’t let her stay. Did I mention her daughter was also supposed to swim? They scratched the Sunday meet. We did not.

Last year there was a Daisy Scout function that took place the same time as a soccer game. Half the team chose the Scout function over soccer leaving the team one player short. Sophie got quite a workout that day. The team lost but I can’t help but feel that the girls that played won.

Am I alone? I feel like if you commit to sports they should supersede parties and such right!?!

Grace just got invited to a Bat Mitzvah that is during the 11-12 girls session at a long course meet hosted by our club. The Bat Mitzvah is for a fellow swimmer. I thought her mother had surely screwed on the date. I was petrified of how I was going to break it to Grace that she was probably expected to swim.

For the first time the decision about which was more important, a party or a sporting event, was taken out of my hands. The coaches decided the kids who were 11-12 would swim Friday night and Sunday. This is the first long course meet of the season and the kids just started training. They were given permission to attend the event on Saturday.

I should feel relieved. I still am a little uneasy about the decision. Grace will be missing 100 back and 50 free. Two events that she has a real shot at qualifying for zones. She never does things the easy way, she usually needs a few swims to get it right.

I made a vow to be a little harder on her during long course season. She really wants Zones. She also really wants to participate in her friends important day.

I know I need to trust the coaches. Right?

I like to swim too

Grace often laments that people don’t “get” what she does. Not just kids but adults as well. Often times when people ask what she does and she responds back with “I am a swimmer” they often reply “oh I like to swim too”.

I am starting to understand the bond between swimmers. I see an unspoken respect between them that I haven’t noticed in other sports. People “get” other sports.

How do you explain to non-swimmers the difference between hanging out at the summer pool vs a two hour practice? How do you detail the isolation and solitude of swimming to someone who plays sharks and minnows with their friends? Try explaining how one tenth of a second, a moment in time so small that most people can’t even make a sound that quickly, can change everything?

Only a swimmer can truly understand what it means to be a swimmer. I am so grateful that my husband convinced me this was a worthy sport for our girls. I only began to really understand the sport about a year ago.

I admit I still have a ways to go but I am always learning

Me, I am not a swimmer. But I love it.

I thought turning 40 was a bad birthday

It wasn’t until my kids starting swimming did I learn what a “bad” birthday was. I always thought 40 was it! Boy was I wrong.

So what makes a bad birthday?

For starters odd years are bad! Forty is obviously good as I would be top end of my age group. Who knew older was better? No age group for old people? Shit. Good thing I can’t swim. I also wish I was only 40.

I also have a late summer birthday, which is great for summer swim team but kind of sucks for fall meets. Again, if you are like me and don’t swim at least you have a nice tan for birthday photos!

It always humors me to hear kids sitting about talking about why their birthday is bad. They are kids – they are all great when you are a kid. Well, not if you are a swimmer.

Speaking of birthdays, the “7 yer old butterfly champ” of my house turns 8 tomorrow. I bought her a Hello Kitty bathing suit. It is a good birthday for me and I am going to enjoy every moment of this year because I feel like this is the last year I am going to have a “little” girl. Bittersweet. I don’t think Hello Kitty warns the heart at 9.

Happy birthday baby girl.

(For the record, NO I would never let my kids practice in a Hello Kitty suit, don’t be judging me).

I don’t wanna do soccer

Throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into the over complicated life. I was going over the upcoming weekends events and Sophie overheard me mention that she would have a soccer game.

And then she whined really slowly, accenting every syllable “I DON’T WANNA DOOOOO SOCCER”.

Yeah Sophie. Me neither. It is recreation soccer, it cost a whopping 65 bucks and with two of you playing it certainly makes weekends harder.

But how about when I asked you if you wanted to play again you said NO? Hmmm?

I made her play and the first game was today. She had a blast and on the way home said she meant she didn’t want to play NEXT season. Note to self – don’t sign Sophie up for soccer next season. If I do she has to sign an agreement to play without whining.

Tiger kid

Self professed Tiger Mom I am not. I really try to teach my girls to want things on their own. To advocate for themselves. This frees me up to shop and workout. I trained them right. I do have a little Tiger Mom in me though. I am blunt, don’t sugar coat things and as a result of that the girls are pretty tough. They have some badass in them. Well, not Sophie but Sarah isn’t afraid of anything.

A few months ago we installed a pull up bar for the girls to work on upper body strength. Like all home gym equipment, it became a nice place to hang laundry – especially pool towels.

One day, Grace came into the kitchen for water wearing workout clothes. She was red faced, sweaty and out of breath. I was a little shocked, I thought she was being chased by someone with a knife but she said, and I quote “I decided to go all Tiger Mom on myself”.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. You know you are a little jealous. If only she would clean her room.