This summer Emma and Eleanor are both on a swim team for the first time. They swim Monday-Thursday mornings from 8:15-9:15 at our local pool. It's non-competitive, with a focus on just getting a few stroke basics down. What a wonderful experience we are having!
The first week, though she never uttered the word, El wanted to quit. She was cold and the work was hard. She held back tears and would mouth to me as I stood on the deck "how much longer??" after every lap. Her lips were purple and her little body shook. She would whimper as she told me about the practice, "mom, I can't even make one lap without having to pull over against the rope". Quickly, the coach began to let her use a kick board to help and day by day she improved until she could easily swim a lap without the kick board. It's been amazing to watch in just three weeks how much more comfortable both girls are in the water and how they've actually developed some stroke skill!
Last night was their first meet. It was exciting just watching them warm up! They swam against another local team (actually our school district municipality!) and it was so cute. A bit of controlled chaos. There was no real racing, just kids in the same age group, swimming the same stroke (mostly!) at the same time. The smiles on the faces of all of the kids were precious, it was evident that his was a good night for all of them.
Things don't stop here though we've got 4 more weeks of swim team and as the coach said last night "now that we can all get across the pool, it's time to make those strokes legal".