Swim team bonus: having some of our best friends on the team!
|Ruth and Mary with their buddies|
The kids love swimming with their friends and the mamas love getting time for conversation with actual adults on a regular basis!
This year was particularly fun because Ruth has really improved since last year and was one of the fastest swimmers in her age group. Ruth lucked out with her birthday -- she misses the cut-off to move up to the next age group by just a couple weeks. So, even though she turned 9 in June she's still in the 7&8 age group. Sarah has also worked really hard and is a very strong swimmer this year. She's petite for her age - almost a foot shorter than the fastest swimmers, but she's putting up very competitive times, especially in the longer distances where she has great endurance.
Paul had a very difficult year last year. He was just 6 and although he was a strong swimmer he became very anxious at the swim meets. I think he was so afraid of doing something wrong he just refused to do his races! We tried to convince him "it's just like practice!" It didn't work. Not our proudest parenting moment :-/ Along with improved swimming this year Paul has made great progress in overcoming his performance anxiety. He never once missed a race this year, so whether he overcame his fears or was just less nervous, it was a huge improvement! Our strategy is to keep putting him in situations that are out of his comfort zone and making him to try new things.
We put Mary on the team this year too because it was cheaper than a summer's worth of swim lessons. She started the season never having a single lesson and now can make it all the way across the pool freestyle and backstroke (with a couple rest stops on the lane lines) :-)
Ben loves the water and I suspect he'll want to get in on the fun in a few years too!