“I hear you have a secret”
I was picking Sarah and Sophie up from practice the other day and a parent approached me with an odd grin on her face and said this to me. I hadn’t seen her since the season started and I knew exactly what she meant – but I decided to play her game. I responded “no I don’t”. She hemmed and hawed and finally got to the point. Grace left RMSC. Not a secret. This type of behavior annoys me. And I see a lot of it. Or more so, the behavior that causes people to ask questions in a less than direct way.
People don’t hesitate to brag about their children’s accomplishments in school, sports or in general. But as my kids get older I find it increasingly more difficult to get a straight answer out of people about where their kid swims.
I spent the better part of the spring and summer attempting to talk to people about their kids swim club and/or groups. I was asking simple questions. How many kids are in the group, when do they practice, what is the dry land like, do you like it, does your kid like it? I was surprised by how ambivalent people are about their programs. I don’t for one second believe that they are truly ambivalent, it is more of a perceived ambivalence. I sensed Grace was going to make a move and with time on our hand I wanted to mKe an informed decision.
I don’t really understand it. I think people feel like they are giving away trade secrets if the say too much about their program. I have always been an open book. I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Is it really a secret how many practices your kid goes to a week?
A major deciding factor in choosing the group and club we did was based on conversations we had with other parents. Everyone we talked to spoke highly of the coach, the group of kids and the other parents. I made this decision with confidence. After chatting with a mom who had kids swimming for both RMSC and NCAP, we were sold. She convinced us that our master plan would work.
Once we made the decision I was really surprised how many people expressed disappointment that we didn’t move to “their” site or club. I gently reminded them of conversations we had over the summer, conversations that led to no where.
Maybe I under complicate things. It’s just swimming. I’ll tell you anything you want to know about the groups my kids are in or have been in. I have this mentality that we are all in it together. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about successes, failures, fears and accomplishments. I like having people I can talk to, run ideas by and brains I can pick. It’s hard to find that. It shouldn’t be.
I don’t fault that mom for asking me about Grace’s change in club affiliation in such an odd manner. We have taught ourselves that we can’t simply ask the question.
I’m not a rule follower. Ask me a question. I’ll answer it. We are all just parents trying to do the best for our children. Opening up to each other, being honest about fears and concerns and being open and honest with each other can be very liberating.
So no, it isn’t a secret. Grace moved. But I will let you in on a secret. She loves it. She is happy. And smiling again. That makes me happy,