Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I Need My Head Examined...
That's what my facebook post said today. That's how I really felt. What on earth have I gotten myself into? Why did I do this? I must be crazy.
A while back, I decided that I didn't want to go into the summer (ie. pool) season with three non swimmers. I have had every intention of the girls being on swim team with the boys this summer but during our away gymnastics meets, we had some time at hotel pools and I realized that neither one of them were ready to be on a team... as in, neither one of them could swim, at all. I find this odd since they lived in a beach town until we got them.
As a side note, I would like everyone to know that swimming is the only extra curricular activity that we 'force' our children to do. Both Ken and myself have a strong swimming background, his was with a swim team until he was old enough to coach, which he did and I spent many, many summer weeks on vacation with my grandparents camping at a lake and swimming and water skiing. We both felt it was very important for the kids to learn how to swim, from a safety perspective. In fact, I had a friend in college who could not swim and we had a hairy moment one night at a mutual friend's pool. I didn't really care if it was swim team or swim lessons but I wanted our kids to be able to swim, and swim well. Ken felt very strongly about swim team and it is the cheapest way to get them swimming well. So when it all started, we told the boys that they needed to learn how to swim well for safety reasons and swim team was how Daddy and I chose for this to happen. When they got to the point that they could beat Mommy and Daddy across the pool in a race, then they could choose whether or not they wanted to continue with the team. So there you have it.
Coincidentally, this will be the first year that we have one turn down team. Rylan had a really rough summer last year. He spent 12 hours a week at the gym working out for gymnastics and about 2 hours a day at the pool working out for swim and dive team. That means that four days a week, he was working out, and I mean working out, for five hours a day. On Saturdays, he rose early to go to the swim meet and left straight from there to go to the gym for three hours. He was so tired and worn out, he was falling asleep everywhere and it just wasn't good for him. This year, he has decided that he really wants to enjoy the pool and focus on gymnastics. He is still going to do dive team, practice for that isn't as physically draining as swim team practice so he's opting out of swim team... and I'm really ok with that. He can't actually beat me across the pool yet (and certainly not Ken) but I see his reasoning and he can certainly swim well, which was the goal.
Anyway, when I saw where the girls were with swimming, I decided that they needed to have some lessons before swim season rolled around. There was only one choice when I decided that I wanted back to back lessons at each girl's level and ruled out nap times and times when we had to go to the gym. They are on Mondays and Wednesdays and they started this week. Of course, I signed them up long before I knew that Ken was going to be out of town on business four days a week during this time period. As we were trying to get our schoolwork and chores done and get ourselves pulled together to go, I thought, "I really need my head examined for this." Trying to get six kids and myself packed up to go and then showering afterwards and getting to Chick-Fil-A in time to eat before church... I must be crazy.
I have to say, it all went really, really well. Despite the fact that the girls don't really do English yet, they both did really well in class. Everyone had a great time. I got in the pool with John and the big boys. Diana and Juli joined us when they weren't in class. Showering worked out and everyone was happy, happy, happy. And it was really nice to be able to stop and just play with the kids. Sometimes I get so stuck in what has to be done, whether it's cooking, cleaning, laundry, schoolwork or whatever... I forget that I need to be having fun with them, too.
And when we finally made it home and I got everyone tucked into bed, an eery silence fell upon the house. I remembered exactly why I love the crazy hectic summer swim/dive team schedule... there's no tomfoolery at bed time. When their heads hit their pillows, they are out, because nothing wears a kid out like swimming.