Everything is longer…

I like long course season.  My kids prefer it and usually do really well.  My only complaint about long course is that it isn’t first.   When my kids are happy, I am happy.  Long course season is obviously a season of change, the pool, well, its just really long.  That being said my kids have had some changes as well.

Grace has a new coach.  Her old (and by that I mean former) coach moved to Hawaii!  I couldn’t talk my husband into moving to Hawaii so we could keep Grace with her so it looks like we are stuck here in Maryland another year.  Wait, I mean get to live.  I don’t mind Maryland when it isn’t winter.  The coach who left was the whole reason Grace moved to this club and site so I was little worried about how she would react.  Fortunately, she loves the new coach.  I’m really pleased it is another female, Grace reacts well to a strong female and her coach is most certainly that.  With a new coach comes change, new practice sets, new equipment and a new set of eyes working with Grace.  Grace’s first meet wasn’t awesome but she was and continues to be happy.  When I grow up I want to be just like Grace.  She has more strength, conviction and perseverance than I could ever hope to.  She also has taught me a lot about having strength in knowing who you are – not just in the pool but socially and academically.

Sophie has a new coach too!  She moved up to the National Development Group (NDG’s).  I was eager for her to move to this group for a few reasons.  For selfish reasons it was a good move, I would only be managing two schedules instead of three.  While I wasn’t concerned about her success in the least in the other group I also knew it would serve her well to be pushed a little harder.  She has always been a very dedicated swimmer – always excited and ready to go to practice.  She was invited to join the group over spring break and she immediately accepted the invitation.  The day before practice started I had a panic attack  Sophie is also a creature of habit and I worried that this group might be too much, too soon.  I was wrong, she took to it immediately and really enjoys it.  So far her only complaint is she can’t quite figure out how the snorkel works.  Watching her use it the first time was hysterical.  She did really well in her first long course meet, posted all best times and managed to keep her cap and goggles on for every race.  That’s huge.

Sarah wasn’t quite as excited to share her group with Sophie.  This is the ONLY year Sarah will ever be in school without a sibling.  And it has been her only year of swimming without a sibling in her group.  She was with Sophie.  Then Grace.  Alone.  And now Sophie.  I get it, she doesn’t get a lot of space.  She grumbled a bit the week leading up to the first practice.  And then after the first practice she told Sophie she did great.  Things have gone really well since then, Sarah explains things to Sophie and they like to talk about practice on the ride home.  I applaud Sarah for making things easy on Sophie.  As the middle child she has learned to share well.  She may not always like it but she does it.  She also has made some amazing friends in the group, one in particular, and is starting to feel like she really belongs in the swim world.  Every now and then she has self doubt – moments where I think she wished she still played soccer.  It’s hard, I know she feels this way but I believe in her abilities in the water.  She too had a great meet.  She wasn’t quite so lucky, she dropped her goggles right after the dive on 200 fly and swam the entire race with her goggles around her neck.  She had to breathe every stroke and still managed to swim one hell of a strong race.  I’m proud of her for that.  Next time we will super glue them.

I have been getting a little smug.  Here it is May and I have managed three kids, three groups and two teams with success.  Never a missed practice or a missed meet despite having plenty of conflicts.  My smugness was short lived as I realized I totally dropped the ball on a meet and definitely have over booked the summer.  Grace has a meet the weekend of Memorial Day.  The weekend is reserved for forced family fun (aka camping).  Her first reaction was to skip the meet but she realized that it wasn’t the right reaction.  She was able to farm herself out for the weekend and is able to attend them meet.  This will be a first for me, not being at the meet and even worse, we won’t have phone service.  I’m not worried about her, I’m worried about me.  It’s slowly starting to sink in that in three years Grace will be heading off to college.  This will be good practice for me.  She is far more ready than I am.

As we head into the chaos of summer I’m just going to remember to breathe.   When I forget the kids will remind me.