You know how when you have a baby all these well meaning people tell you “enjoy every moment – they grow up quickly” and your only thought is “I just want to sleep more than three hours at a time”. The exact moment that kids starts sleeping, you decide to have another one. And quite possibly a third. Do you remember the exact day you started getting a full night of sleep? Of course not. Because your kids are swimmers. That 4 AM wake up call is only tolerable because no one has colic. But the part about them growing up quickly? It is no joke.
Having Grace in high school this year has been bittersweet. It’s hard enough to accept that she is old enough to be in high school but I’m really struggling with the fact that in 4 years she will be off to college and creating her own path in life. Instead of looking at life as a series of firsts, I’m seeing a series of lasts. Planning spring break I can’t help but think we only have 4 more spring breaks with her. Next year she will drive. The quiet mornings on our long drive to the pool are coming to an end. I have always hated early morning practices but I have learned that on the cold, dark mornings in January you form an unspoken bond with your child. We share something completely indescribable to those who have never done it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and these are moments I will treasure.
This weekend she will be competing in METROS (Washington Metro Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championship). It’s the DC metros championship High School meet, a meet well known throughout the swim world for it’s speed and popularity. We have gone to watch the meet for many years and one of the highlights of the meet has been watching Katie Ledecky swim. She was extraordinary at her first high school meet and this will be her last year swimming METROS. And Grace’s first. It’s a safe bet that Grace won’t be giving Katie a run for her money. But she will be swimming her heart out anyways.
I’m extremely excited to go see Grace swim against some of the finest swimmers in the metro area. I’m also struggling with the fact that she is growing up. I’m trying to complain less about the early mornings and long evenings of driving and I’m trying to enjoy it more. Soon enough all three kids will be gone and we won’t have quiet mornings. We will just have quiet. Enjoy the moment.