Poolside Anxiety

We are experimenting with our son’s interest in the swim team this spring. Last night was the first practice. I can not tell a lie. I nearly vomited poolside. I could not keep myself from nervously chatting with the coach basically begging for affirmation that I had made the right decision in signing Tim up for this. Then I paced on the pool deck with the other first time parents, fiddling with Tim’s goggle straps and clutching his towel.

At the end of the last summer, he could swim 1 length of the pool in some sort of hybrid between the doggy paddle and breaststroke. They lined all the newbies up and had them jump in and swim 1 lap. After he made it to the other end, I let out an audible sigh of relief. But then, the real freak out began.

He was assigned a lane with some other boys about his skill level and lap after lap – 10 in all – they worked him hard. Kicking drill, backstroke drill, length of crawl, back to kicking drill, more backstroke… I felt so sick watching. Before last night he had only ever done ONE lap. I thought he might drown any second!

Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. What did I do. Oh dear God please help my boy. Repeat approx. 5,000 times. Wait. Make that 1 million times.

When it was all over, there were 3 other boys in tears and he looked on the verge. We scooted out of there before he could utter the words I knew were coming. “I HATED IT!!!!”

And this is where I don’t function well. I know it’s not the right time to make any decisions. We’ve already paid for a 3 week trial session. He’s out of shape and things will probably improve. For now, I have pinky sworn to have amazing desserts ready after every practice – brownies, cakes, cookies, pies – whatever will help him get through.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of watching my boy struggle in the world with the little and large obstacles of life. For some reason, which it not rationale, when my girls do something challenging, I’m proud and happy and sure of them. With my boy – I’m freaking out. He will probably be just fine, but I may die.

Thanks for listening. May God prevent me from doing anything that undermines his confidence. May God help me to keep a calm and confident exterior when I toss him his towel after practice, when my whole self wants to stoop over him, wrap him up in his StarWars beach towel, and hold him on my lap until he stops shivering.

3 thoughts on “Poolside Anxiety

  1. Jeanna (Beaner) says:

    I just found out what it’s like to be proud of the boy who comes in next-to-last-place!!! Hang in there!!!

  2. Jill says:

    hi!
    I heard of your blog through elisa dunkin, and I really like it, by the way. I am a fellow Nav πŸ™‚

    I am also a swim coach for my hometown swim team. For what it’s worth, I’d say not to worry. πŸ™‚ We had a little 5 yr old boy who couldn’t even swim across the pool last year but we worked with him a lot and within a week he could make it across and he continued on to racing in the meets! His hate for swimming turned to a love for it. This kind of thing happens a lot. It is awesome to see them improve.
    Maybe he’ll end up liking it too. πŸ™‚

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