Friday, January 15, 2010

Confessions of a SwimMom: Take One

We're over halfway through the swimseason, which makes me a bit sad. I truly love being a SwimMom and Tigger is truly enjoying being on the team. But it's hard work and I think he's also looking forward to being done with his day after school instead of swimming for 2-3 hours a night. We ARE a family who loves their jammie pants and lounge time, after all!

The season has been "high drama" in our lives from the beginning (well, relatively speaking--see: jammie pants). I am loving the opportunity to be an involved parent. It's hard with junior high aged boys who don't like questions to get involved in their lives. Sports forces the issue for both of you--which is just one of many reasons I have the "at least 2 sports per school year" rule.

Raising a Teen Side note: I was telling a friend of mine that Tigger hates questions and can get crabby when you ask too many--especially right when he gets home/gets in the car/finishes something/wakes up/gets off the phone/is playing videogames/is eating (yeah, pretty much he just hates questions). She said "wow, is that a teenage thing of just a Tigger thing?" I said "Um, how many men do you know who love questions?" But, I have learned that if I am just "around" (and patient)--at home, in the car, etc--he'll tell me eventually :) Which is WHY I personally feel it's more important than ever to be around when your kids are teenagers--IMHO they need you more at this age than ever before.

At the beginning of the season, after the first week of Captain's practice (this is run by the Varsity team captains--before the coach even gets involved--super impressive), anyway after the first week I knew this was going to be good for him. He'd get in the car and with that kind of "Complaining yet Bragging" way, he'd tell me they ran 5 miles/did monsters for 30 minutes/worked themselves to death/ etc. After the first few weeks of "real" practice (in the water) but before the first meet, our coach actually named Tigger "JV Captain" because he showed such dedication to the team. Talk about a ProudMama Moment! Now this position isn't always named but it basically means he's in charge of motivating the other JV kids and oversees their stretching. This was when I knew swimming was going to be significant.

The first meet was nerve-wracking. I didn't know what to expect--LUCKILY the neighbor boys (older than Tigger) who used to babysit him are both on the team and their Mom (who Tigger adores) is an old pro at being a SwimMom! Whew! So Tigger and I both got mentors in one fowl swoop! God was looking out for us!

Here's a few things I learned at the first meet:
  • The bleachers are uncomfortable and even if you bring a stadium chair, they're still not great. Get used to it.
  • Wear layers! It's humid and hot in there--which makes it even more fun that swimming is in the winter!
  • Other swim parents know what they're doing and they mean business--you'd better catch up.
  • Other swim parents are super gracious and willing to help show you the ropes. Yay!
  • Be prepared to lose your voice. You can scream as loud as you want and the swimmers can still barely hear you. But you scream anyway . . . it's part of the fun.
  • You can't hear or understand a thing they say over the loud speaker in the pool--its one giant echo.
  • When your son misses his first race because he was confused and couldn't hear the lady mumbling his name over the loud speaker, you will be almost as devastated as him. And you'll be almost as nervous as him in watching for the next one.
The first meet Tigger was supposed to swim in two races, but missed the first one. I guess it's normal for the kids to miss a race once in their early season--the pool is a confusing place. But oh, it's helpless feeling when you know he's missing it but he can't hear you or see you waving wildly to get to the starting blocks.

But the one race he DID swim, the 50Free, he beat his practice time swimming it in 38.50 seconds. This is the time parents watch throughout the season--this is the number you're interested in. Did the time come down? He got out of the pool at that first race, saw his time was a second better than his practice time, found me in the stands and gave me a thumbs up and a big smile and waves. This, from the kid who just doesn't get too excited about anything.


Future meets have brought even more Mom Heaven moments . . . Which is just one more reason I love being a SwimMom . . .I can't wait to share them with you!


  1. This reminds me of high school. My high school boyfriend was a swimmer. I use to go to all of his meets. I even was a timer and a number flipper (don't even know if they use those anymore!)

    The best part, it's warm inside. Way better than being in a cold hockey rink!

  2. i swam like a fish in elememtary school. it was some of the most fun i've ever had. i hpoe my kids have the same passion for water.