once upon a time, there was a swim school. this swim school offered a pretty cool facility with 90* water, 93* air temp and classes for no more than 4 kids to teach them how to swim. and after swim classes were accomplished, kids moved up to a rec team. and with that rec team came occasional swim meets. people were interested in this concept. people joined. us included.
it's been over 3 years since we first joined. h took her lessons as far as she could go. she moved up to rec team in september, and with that came the opportunity to participate in a swim meet. she was nervous. she did not want to participate. we thought she could totally do it and wanted her to give it a try, so we
forced highly encouraged her to swim. together, we signed up and chose 2 races for her to complete, 2 races with the shortest distance and her best strokes. 25m freestyle and 25m backstroke. the build up to this day was filled with so many questions, so many doubts, so much nervous energy, a few tears. we encouraged, answered questions, build up self esteem, loved. just what parents are supposed to do. i knew she needed the challenge, and i knew she could crush it.
we arrived to goldfish, and she got herself ready. and then she got more nervous as more and more people showed up. she doesn't like to be around a lot of people. she much prefers small groups. she was worried and nervous, but her swim coach, maggie, and i gave her the facts and tried to ease her concerns. i told her to breathe, and to find her bravery.
she stood on deck after warm-up before the team cheer, one of the smallest in the group. i watched through the window and felt my heart beating right up in my throat for her. is this what it's like with each and every competition your child competes in? goodness. it can be nerve wracking!
she was assigned to the first race. the other 2 girls in her race were her age, one in her weeknight rec team class and the other in her class at school. i think that eased her mind a bit.
the coach called out. "swimmers ready. go." and in she went.
she didn't swim the fastest, but she swam with such amazing form. her freestyle was perfection. i think she would have swam faster if she hadn't kept looking over to her racemates and what they were doing. but that's her, she's pretty social.
and then in 25m, she finished. second place. 32.23 seconds. i don't think i could have wiped my smile away, i was so dang proud of her. i took a deep breath. one race down. one to go.
she went back in line, socializing with the other girls. waiting for her next race.
and then it was her turn for the 25m backstroke. this is her stroke. maggie has been perfecting it for the last year. and maggie was her biggest sideline cheerleader. see her below?
harper glided gracefully to the finish and another second place. 36.14 seconds.
and we saw the biggest smile on her face when she exited the pool and was handed her ribbon. whether it was from pride for what she accomplished or relief at being done with the meet, it didn't matter. i saw a glimpse of pure happiness.
we left that swim school, and headed for some celebratory froyo. i couldn't stop telling her how proud we were for her bravery and for accepting the challenge and for asking the questions to ease her worries. she was such a rock star, and i secretly think she knew it.