Monday, June 15, 2015

Sweet Summertime

Summer has always been a string of unorganized days haphazardly filled with whatever falls in our laps and doesn't interfere with nap time too much.  An entire decade of this as our summer strategy, y'all. 

But the winds of change have been slowly blowing across our family.  I now have 'middle age' kids rather than the Munchkin Brigade.  Nap time is way more optional now that the youngest is four instead of the oldest being four.  Summer is a whole new world full of possibilities and mosquitoes.

We hesitantly committed to swim team.  This is huge for our family.  It's a five-day-a-week commitment, plus a meet each Wednesday night.  Thomas, Sarah, Lizzie, and Anna are all participating in swim team and Daniel is taking swim lessons so he doesn't even sink some of the way.  We're at the pool from 8AM until 11AM for practice and lessons, then we hang out and play for a bit.

Y'all, this means we're out the door by 7:30AM.  Um... we don't usually roll out of bed until 7:30 and now we're up, breakfasted, and in swimsuits with our stuff gathered and walking out the door. 

Now, even on Saturdays, I'm waking up by 6:30.  Who the heck am I?

Sometimes, the early mornings get to Daniel and he rests wherever he finds an empty towel. 

 It also means that my kids are all cute and tanned out.  It means they sleep well at night.  It means we are getting in the habit of getting up and getting going earlier in the day.  It means they are growing more confident in the water.

It means that the vast majority of their summer wardrobe is made of swimsuits and t-shirts.  I'm in laundry heaven!

So here's the thing: I really thought I'd dread every single morning, waking up, pushing the kids through a morning routine, spending hours a day at the pool, hot-sticky-hotness, and the smell of chlorine stinking up the van.

Let me tell you what I've learned here at the half-way mark in our swim team season.

We pretty much love this.  It's team sports and individual sports all rolled into one.  I was afraid that our kids would balk after the first meet.  They'd had a full seven days of strokes training behind them (until swim team started, we were doggy paddlers for the most part) and I thought they would be discouraged when they didn't fare well in the races.  But they weren't.  I mean, yeah, maybe a little, but they were all so very proud of themselves for swimming the entirety of their races, regardless of where they placed.  They love hanging out with their team-mates between their scheduled events.

Our coaches are amazing, patient folks.  During time trials, when Anna swam three-quarters of the length of the pool then firmly attached herself to the ropes and staunchly refused to do anything but cry and cling to that rope?  Coach J went to her and coaxed her off the rope and then he swam next to her to the wall, encouraging her all the way.  When Sarah had a melt down over not knowing how to do a certain stroke, a coach jumped in the water and worked with her individually until Sarah had the concept down pat.  The parents, the coaches, and the team members are just a great group of folks to be spending time with.  Good thing, too, since we see them about 20 hours per week!

Possibly my favorite part of all of this, though?  Our team mascot is a cow.

Go, Cows!!!