|B's first race! He won!|
This is a long post as I have so many thoughts about swim team. I'm going to intersperse them with photos from the season and some videos from the final swim meet. I had never even heard of neighborhood swimming teams until after we moved here and one of our neighbors suggested it. I was immediately for it as the scheduling of swimming lessons for three kids in three different age groups has been an expensive debacle over the years and as I work more all the schlepping around town just wasn't feasible. Lessons daily for 5 weeks in our neighborhood for less than two weeks elsewhere. Done. Sign us up. Brent and I agreed that swim team would be a mandatory activity for all age eligible children while we live here and off they went. Our babysitter walked them to most of the practices, but I got to attend a few. It was awesome.
|Only away meet - B bravely swam breast stroke even though he wasn't sure he could. M balked and refused to race.|
There were, of course, some complications. M had two camps already scheduled that conflicted with the swim practices, so she missed a big portion of it. M also did the famous "Richard child balking" we're all so familiar with when she came out of warm ups at her first meet sobbing and refusing to swim. B admitted he was nervous and he used to balk at many things and tried to help her through it...B swam breast stroke in that same meet even though he was nervous about it and not very confident in his stroke. (Big Win!)
|Card for her first relay team race.|
|Sibling picture after they both finished and won their relays.|
We had hoped they would make more friends with the neighborhood kids and I think they did. That said they mostly became better friends with each other by being on the same team, which is a great outcome too. They really looked out for each other and each made sure the other was ready when it was almost time for their race. Love that. They are much closer now than at the start of the summer, which is huge, especially when they are intrinsically so different.
There were five meets. The first four were usually 2-3 teams competing and all but one were in our neighborhood pool. This resulted in a lot of ribbons won for our kids. At the race picture above, they both won all blue ribbons. We have a lot of other ribbons too. Here the parenting started to get tricky as M began winning "all the things" even though B was practicing more and working harder. There are a couple of reasons. First, she really is just inherently good at this, but she is also swimming six and under and will turn 7 momentarily. Also, she is a complete giant compared to her competitors. Some of her competitors were so small they were nearly half her height and most of them she was at least a head taller than. This definitely helps. All the things she won are great, but the biggest victory was conquering the "it is too hard" "I can't" "I'm scared" aspects.
Here they are playing with their friends at the end of the year party on Monday. There was LOTS of pizza, friends, a few awards, and a great end to a great season.
The All-City Championship racing videos are below. Sadly, no video of M's championship race or B's butterfly, I think. The videos are loud and give you a sense of the big crowd and noise there. The championships were nearly 3 hours long and it was really hot and muggy up in the bleachers. The kids ended up starving, even with their snacks, but in the end it was full of good fun and great memories.
B 2nd lane, back stroke
M 1st lane (bottom) - freestyle
B - 3rd lane - freestyle
Thanks again to all the grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins who joined us for some or all of the season's meets. They are long and hot and there are a lot of down time between our kids races, but they love, love having you there to cheer them on. We hope you join us for some OTP Swordfish meets next summer as Mr. E. joins the swim team for even more excitement!