6.29.2015

Swim Team #win!

 

2011

Summer swim team for 2015 has come to an end!

This season flew by quicker than most ... but the entire month of June seems to have flown off my calendar.  Is it just me or do the days fly by?

My babies have been on the swim team for the last 14 years!  Hands down this activity has been one of the most positive and influential things they have done each year.  I was not a swim team kid and had absolutely no experience with it before a neighbor suggested I put my oldest in as a small but feisty 4 and 1/2 year old.  I remember thinking he would drown his first few practices when he was unable to swim 1/3 of the length of the pool.  I would watch him cling to the lane rope and quietly pray.  Maybe I wasn't so quiet.  I was sure I was signing him up for certain death.  That sweet and gentle neighbor looked over at me and patted my arm and told me simply ... "He's fine.  Stop worrying."


2012

And not only was he fine but the next year he got faster and with an incredible stroke and kept swimming each year until he was 11.  At that point most kids either become year round swimmers (and get really good) or sadly quit like mine did for another activity.  At that point Robotics had captured his heart and he hung up his goggles.  


2014

The swim team has always been our summer family.  The coaches would change but the parents and the amazing kids would be there each May to greet us with the same enthusiasm and excitement!  When we moved into this house in 2002 the first thing I did was sign up for swim team. We knew not a sole and immediately we were greeted by people who showed up at our home with warm brownies and welcomed us into our new neighborhood!


2014

The two youngest signed up to join the swim team the same summer when Little Bit was finally 5.  She was so upset that the rules had changed and 4 was no longer a starting age.  I remember her begging me and saying .. "but I'm strong and I won't sink.  I pinky promise."  Little did I know at the time that she would not only not sink ... she would soar!


2015

As I have mentioned many times, our middle child has special needs.  I will one day sit down and write our story, but in a nut shell he has a genetic deviance that has lead to many learning and developmental issues over his years.  One of his major hurdles was sensory issues which meant tons of therapy and trying new strategies to make the world work for him.  Swimming has always calmed his brain and although he is the slowest swimmer by far in his age group, he loves it. And his team LOVES him.  He has been embraced by an incredible group of coaches that put the effort into making him feel as if he won the gold medal every single time he touches the wall.  


State qualifying practice 2013

 And I am not exaggerating one single bit.  At Thursday night's meet he was swimming in one race and as he was once again the last swimmer by quite some time to touch the wall a group of ADULTS next to baby girl and I started making fun of him.  Yes, they were adults and they were tasteless enough to be making fun of a child.  My brave, strong daughter promptly let them know they were speaking about her brother, and making fun of others was "not cool".  They just looked at her and walked off.  I was truly speechless and broken at the same time and yet the entire time my boy was oblivious because he was swimming towards the group of coaches that were clapping and yelling for only him!


2012

Anyone who has a child who struggles in any way knows you will spend thousands to provide them with the help and confidence they need to succeed.  This team has provided him with therapy and confidence in droves!  He lives to swim for them each summer and the relationship he has with the head coach is something I can barely put into words.  Will believes in our boy, loves him and encourages him to push himself.  He has told him he is the heart of the team and WPM thinks Will truly is the best human being alive. 

I have to agree wholeheartedly. 


2013 ... and notice my littles off in the left corner! 

Image courtesy of a team mom and incredible photographer!

And then there is the youngest ... our fish!


2012

Swim team has sparked an incredible talent in her that she would have never developed otherwise. She was born to swim! She not only took to falling in love with swimming, she is really good at it.  Every single year she blows us away.  She beats her own times and advances on to the state qualifying meet.  Two years ago she advanced to the state meet and placed in each event she raced.  Her relay team earned medals.  She holds six records at the our home pool. The girl can swim!


2013 ... our girl in the water after a race


My favorite thing about our team is how much each child loves the other.  Friends cheering on friends.  Teammates cheering for others and not leaving the pool deck until they all finish their races!  It has been an incredible experience year after year.  When my grandmother died two years ago I was shopping at Sam's for that night's meet.  I literally had a car full of food I needed to unload and set up for that night's meet.  Word passed quickly and not only did I do almost nothing that evening but those woman loved on me and prayed for me in the coming weeks.  The love I felt truly carried me through those first few days when I still clearly in shock. 

I am always sad to see the end of a summer leaque and the daily meet ups over coffee for myself and the other moms.  It is an incredible experience I encourage you to try if your babies are little.  And if you or your children swim on a team, you know what I mean.  

It was an amazing year.  Undefeated and moving up to Silver!  I am incredibly proud of our coaches and swimmers!  You earned every second of last night's party!!

Until next year Seahorses!  
Or ... for some of us, until tomorrow when state qualifying practice starts!

I will be the one with the large coffee and the walking cast!


8 comments:

  1. Such a nice post. And good for your baby girl for sticking up for her brother. I am always amazed at how insensitive people can be, especially adults. These are the same parents of obnoxious kids. But it looks like your babies will be the ones setting good examples not only as children but adults as well. Good job Mama!

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  2. My family is a swim team family, this is our 10th year, and we love the friends that we've made through it as much as the actual swimming. Of all the sports my four kids have participated in I feel that swim team has the best families and coaches, we cheer for every last kid to touch the wall. Shame on those adults to be so unkind to speak poorly of your son, or anyone's child, who is working his little heart out to do his best. Kudos to Little Bit to have the courage to speak up for herself and her brother, what an amazing child! If you weren't settled in GA I'd suggest your family move here, we have one of the top rated public school systems and top rated for students with special needs, we have families that move across the country for our program's. This means we also have a number of kids on swim team, basketball and other sports with special needs playing along side their peers. I love that my kids have grown up in this culture, not only have they learned to be kind to all people, but they have also made some great friendships.

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  3. we swim here also..my 12 year old daughter. I just sat back and teared up..what kind of children are we raising if PARENTS make fun of a child, WTF!! it would have have taken all my might not to say something. God Bless his will and tenacity!! and god bless baby girl!!

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  4. Such a sweet post. We just moved to a neighborhood with a swim team. I couldn't get it together for us to join this year but next year we are all in. I'd love to hear more about your middle son. I bet there are more people that read your blog with their own special kids than you realize.

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  5. Paige this post was really special. Such amazing words you shared and I could feel the love and pride oozing through the screen. Each of your kids are truly special and that have a wonderful mom that will always be there to cheer them on no matter what activity they participate in. I was a competitive swimmer and know first hand the love your kids have for the water. You never outgrow it. Thanks for sharing this piece of your heart.
    Shelly@ConfettiStyle

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  6. Paige, I can feel the pride in every word of this post. What a wonderful experience for your children. Thanks for sharing and enlightening me on the world of swim teams.

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  7. We love swim team too and have just started our journey with it. Thanks for sharing your story!

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