Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Growing up, making progress, moving on.

It's been SS's summer ritual, four two week sessions of swimming lessons. It began in kindergarten and this is her last year. There are six Red Cross swim levels, and our city only offers one through four. SS has taken level IV classes the last two summers, and this one. Last summer we knew SS needed to move on. But there was so much going on we really did not look into alternatives. Actually we knew what would be next, a swim team. JJ was in a swim team at SS's age, and my three nieces and nephew were in teams since they were in first grade. Swim teams are great, but participation is also time consuming, including mandatory parent volunteering, and fundraisers. I'd rather give birth again without an epidural than engage in fundraising. Also, it is costly, probably why there are not many lower SES kids involved.

The cost was not the issue since we only have one child to provide for at this time. The time commitment and our doubts as to SS's readiness were the issues. We are referring to willingness to do the work involved, not SS's ability. Swim classes are fun and short. Twenty five minutes go by fast, and the teachers always do something fun the last five minutes. Who can make the biggest splash diving in, who can jump the farthest, diving for rings, and many other contests. Then the teachers do not have the kids constantly swimming those twenty minutes. There is a lot of individual swim to me then swim back. The kids get plenty of rest during that time. Twenty five minutes of swim team is a workout. I know because when JJ was swimming the parents were given the opportunity of doing masters swimming. I was there waiting for JJ anyway and stupidly joined in. That was some serious hard work, and I was in decent shape then, an runner, biker, and hiker.

SS is one lazy child who as of two years ago sat in a huge bike trailer stroller when visiting Knott's Berry Farm , Soak City, and Disneyland. We realize we only have ourselves to blame, but it was very convenient to store our belongings in the Hummer (P named the stroller). While watching SS swim these past few weeks we knew it would not be fair to have SS return to level IV for a fourth year. SS also expressed a desire to do more, she is obviously done with this part of her life. Then we go back to SS's laziness. It's going to be a one hour drive round trip, at least three times a week. No big deal, but it is also at 6:00p.m. Get home, eat and hit the road. We decided to wait until SS is done with day camp and swim lessons to have her try out for the swim team. SS's last swim lesson is next Thursday.

SS began her last session Monday, and like with every other first day we needed to sign in with the director. The staff know SS because, how could they miss the kid who has done every session for five years. The director greeted SS and off she went to find her teacher, while I signed her in. He told me how much they enjoy having SS in the classes, but wanted to let me know that SS should be at level VI now. Yes we know this, at least one of us watches her swim every class. The director suggested we look into a swim team to make sure SS refines her strokes, works on speed, and stamina. Wait, was SS gently nudged out of the program? That is exactly what happened, and he was very gentle about it. I informed the director of our plans and he seemed very pleased for SS. But seriously, was SS nicely told to move on? Quite funny.

What is SS doing?

Cheeky Monkey
SS requested a haircut, and great timing because it would be a pain to get all this hair inside a swim cap. She has requested haircuts before, then once on the chair cries and says only a trim. P was on board with cutting at least four inches, then told me he wasn't sure he was ready to let her long hair go. Spoken like a man who won't be the one helping SS put on her swim cap. We will see what happens when SS and the stylist's scissors meet next week. 

Alien shot.

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