My children are swimmers. Don't ask me how this happened, besides the fact that we have a pool and live in a climate where swimming is a year round sport, but I was not the State Champions in the family (that's Nikki and Jen, by the way). It started with having children that have asthma (darn genetics!) and that swimming was a great sport to improve asthma. This was the beginning of a lifetime of swim meets, more goggle purchases than I want to admit, and so many blue ribbons lying around, that if they get anything less, they have to walk home (just kidding. Sort of.) I love swimming besides the health benefits, they are competing against themselves to improve their times and improve their health and Chloe's favorite, the social aspect. Summer swimming is a little different than the rest of the year because the team that they swim on is less structured than the school year one because it is more of a recreational team for kids who don't swim competitively, so my kids love the change of pace because then they get to have a little more fun. I love cheering them on. Yes, I'm the mom at the side of the pool yelling at her baby to swim faster like they are swimming in the Olympics. I love it. Maybe because it reminds me of my childhood and cheering on my sisters.
So it came as a great shock to me this morning when Olivia told me that she wanted to meet with me in the "white living room" to discuss why she was not going to be on the swim team. You may have guessed that the white living room is where all serious matters get discussed. She had a list of reasons why she did not want to continue her career as a swim team member. She started on this team two weeks ago and has not participated in a meet yet because, well, for selfish reasons on my part. #1 Too late at night. I am a bedtime stickler. #2 She would be too slow. I'm not saying I expect her to come in first, but it makes the whole meet take longer when they have those little kids who are struggling to complete 25 yards. #3 One less person to give money to so they can get something from the snack bar. These were her lists of reasons for not continuing: #1 She didn't sign herself up, I did, and she never okay'ed it, therefore, she was not accountable for showing up to practice. #2 Gymnastics will improve her flexibility, whereas swimming will not. #3 She's not very good at butterfly and did not wish to continue this futile exercise in occupying her free time. How can I argue with that? For those of you who are shocked that I would give in to a five year old, this is Olivia we're talking about, who has been called "self assured" and I didn't think that she needed me for anything except as her chauffeur since she was two. This is the girl that told me last week that she wanted to lay on the chaise lounge, so she could "bask in the sun". So her brief career on the swim team is over. She does not have asthma, so I couldn't even argue my case on that point. I never saw her as a competitive swimmer anyway, so I am not surprised. And I believe that this is the first of our discussions that she wants to have in the white living room. So for now, this is the only kind of swimming Olivia we will know.