Sophie participated in her first swim meet today.
She competed in the 25 yard freestyle, the 50 yard freestyle, the 25 yard backstroke, and the 100 yard relay medley.
She was awesome. I nearly cried, about eight times. Part of this may have been the chlorine-laden air.
I learned a little bit about swim meets, and about Sophie. I hadn’t been to one since I myself participated, which had to have been at least 15 years ago. I learned the stapled pages delineating events and participants is called the Heat Sheet (not a “program”). I learned that despite an intimidating level of grownups, activity, noise and busyness, my daughter was completely calm and relaxed in her participation. I learned that lots of parents take off as soon as their child is done with their events. I stayed until the end; until the last lumbering swimmer finished the (epic, I remember having to do it myself) 500 yard freestyle.
I learned that some parents border on the psychotic when it comes to sports activities. I suppose this is true most everywhere, although honestly it seems its own streak here in Grays Harbor. People I’d been seeing on the bleachers who seemed normal enough during practice, their faces contorted with strain and aggression as they screamed at their seven year old to GO! GO! GO! I sat there and wondered if that sort of parental tutelage, coaching, and pressure to succeed does in fact help a child. I mulled it over and for now have decided that in the early years it might indeed help them to succeed in getting good times, but it ultimately only helps children to rely on others, to fear their parents, and to look elsewhere than their own hearts and guts in setting personal challenges.
I was very, very proud of my daughter today; but really, I was just happy to share one of her loves with her – that of the water.
Oh and: I can haz spaghetti and meatballs, as often as possible lately. I use my extra tomatoes from the garden for sauce. The sauce is amazing – amazing.