Thursday, February 18, 2010
(I don't know why no one ever reported us for suspicion of starving our kid!)
When he was six, and then seven, and then eight, I tried putting Kyle in swimming lessons at the local pool. $30 for four-to-six weeks of 30-minute lessons, a couple of times per week. Now remember, this is Wisconsin, so summer temperatures are not always warm, and indoor pools can be chilly at times, which is not conducive to keeping warm; skinny Wisconsin kids don't stand a chance in such conditions. It was fine when it was his turn, but the rest of the time, he'd be clinging to the side of the pool, teeth chattering, lips turning purple, etc. Although he liked the idea of swimming lessons, it just never worked out. I finally gave up on the lessons.
Then, someone suggested that I try private lessons, so I drove Kyle all the way to Tinytown and hired a high school kid to give him private lessons for $10 a shot. Within three one-on-one lessons, he was swimming like a fish, and the rest is history. He even joined a swim team that year. We have video from a meet that year, swimming the butterfly stroke his first (and last) time. He was in the water a full, agonizing minute or more past the time the other kids were out of the pool; it was painful to watch. He had fun that year but said he didn't like being cold waiting his turn for events at swim meets. He finished out the year, and that was it. Or so I thought.
Flash forward five years to tenth grade; Kyle decided to join the Tinytown High School swim team and lettered his first year! Last year (11th grade), he did the same and was elected by his teammates to receive the "Sportsmanship" award at the end of the season. He's loved being in Swim.
A few weeks ago, when we heard Kyle was swimming butterfly in the 100 meter Individual Medley at a meet, Mr.4444 and I looked at each other in surprise and winced, but our eyes opened wide as we watched our boy gracefully glide through the strokes. No, he didn't take first, or even second place, and probably not even third (I don't remember), but he surprised us both and filled our hearts with joy for his willingness to even try it and for his maturity as a swimmer. (And he didn't turn blue, either!)
On Monday night, at the end-of-the-year swim banquet, Coach addressed each swimmer individually. Kyle, being a veteran and senior, was last to be recognized. The plaque for being Team Captain this year was expected,
but the Sportsmanship and Most Valuable Swimmer awards, too?! What a Proud Mom moment! I cannot express the depth of my joy in seeing this kid get validation of his hard work and dedication. He's grown into such a strong, hard-working, leader. Can a parent ask for anything more?
The answer is yes, actually; I've been hounding him like crazy to finish his Eagle Project paperwork. Hey, he's not out of the nest yet!