Thursday, June 19, 2014

what I learned from spring swim

Lucy is doing summer swim team as I type.

She also did spring swim.


I was kind of excited for her.  I figured all that work at Aqua Tots (love that place BTW) would pay off and she would be a total superstar swimmer in swim team.  I imagined it would be one thing that she would shine at.  That it would be her "talent" in a sea of other kids who are good at everything under the sun.  She's not the fastest swimmer of all time, but she's pretty confident in the water so I figured she would hold her own and do just fine.
She begged to go to the swim meet, and started out confident and ready to go.



 But as she started off down that lane and everyone passed her up lickety-split, my heart sunk.

 The kids in all the other lanes were out and the cheering had died down before she got close to the end.   Everyone was on to ribbons and thinking about the next stroke.

It was just me, squatting at the end of the lane trying to look small cheering her on quietly with tears welling up behind my sunglasses.

But guess what?  

She didn't care.  

She thought eighth place was the epitome of awesomeness.  

She knew she worked hard and did her best.
I need to remember that that's the only thing that matters.

Swimming is one of her many talents.

She just does it a little different from the other kids.

Man I love that smiley girl.  She teaches me new things every day.  

41 comments:

  1. WAY TO GO LUCY! YOU DID IT :)
    what a great example!!

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  3. I love your blog, and congrats, Lucy. But man! These commercials that are popping up and taking over the whole screen for 10 seconds or something are obnoxious.

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  4. You are such an awesome mom. We forget when things come easily to us, how it feels to do something really hard. But this is evidence that not only are you helping her develop the skills to become a strong swimmer, but also the character to not look to others for validation in our accomplishments. Too bad for the other parents who missed out on that valuable lesson, as they were wrapped up in the "winning."

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  5. She is a doll! My kids are a little too young for this kind of thing yet, or really to get into organized sports but I'll have to remember this..thank you for your thoughts.380

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  6. This made me tear up. Good job, Lucy!!!

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  7. Congrats to darling Lucy. I think anyone that can swim at all is amazing. I had the same experience with my 6 yr. old last summer... she was dead last by a long shot in 25 m butterfly. I was heartbroken for her, until I saw the huge grin on her face getting out of the pool. Last place with a huge smile beats first place any day. We have awesome girls.

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  8. Well done to Lucy:)

    I've never been very good at doing things in a group or team, so I admire her for this.

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  9. Oh wow, tears in my eyes!! Way to go Lucy!!

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  10. She is absolutely precious! Way to go Lucy!

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  11. Great job, Lucy!!

    Swimming is a great sport for many kids because as long as they are improving (dropping time, improving technique, handling disappointment, etc.) they are still winning. Four of my six kids swim (they other two are still learning to swim) and fall at various places on the talent continuum. There is always room for another swimmer!

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  12. YEAH for Lucy!! Great job!!!!

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  13. This made me cry Nonny tears.
    Then I remembered how proud I would be if she were MY Lucy.
    :)

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  14. Heck, I didn't learn to swim until I was 28! Way to go, Lucy!!

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  15. I'm sure Lucy felt that way because of all the unconditional love and support she gets at home. Children learn what they live. From everything I read on your blog, you have an amazing family, and you're all an amazing support to one another. I learn every time I visit.

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  16. I am having a sweet, spirit-filled emotional day and this just added to it!! Thank you, Lucy, for this lesson of being grateful in all things!

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  17. On a more practical note, does she need prescription goggles? My son has special needs and is fortunate to be involved in recreational activities with a lot of supports with kids like him. I find it alarming ribbons were handed out before the race was over. Seems a bit rude to be. And bad sportsmanship.

    All that matters is that she got in and across and out of the pool with a smile on her face all by herself.

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  18. What a sweet post and what a beautiful girl! Love the reminder for all of us as parents of what really matters most. Thanks for sharing such wonderful stuff.

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  19. Oh man, the tears are flowing. Great job, Lucy! You (truly) inspire me.

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  20. I love this. As we are learning that we may have a bumpy road with our own sweet girl, I'm also learning that my own hang=ups as an adult aren't the same experience as she has in the present. The excitement and happiness in her picture is all that matters -- she is proud of her accomplishment. Well done, Mom!

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  21. That moved me to tears... thank you for sharing Shawni and reminding us what is really important. Beautiful.

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  22. That moved me to tears... thank you for sharing Shawni and reminding us what is really important. Beautiful.

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  23. What a nice post! My kids were swimmers in high school (not the top swimmers - but loved it nevertheless) and they had a handicapped swimmer on their team. At each race as she was finishing (always last) all of her teammates would gather at the edge of the pool to cheer her and encourage her. They loved her and she loved them! Oh how I loved (and still do) those kids!!

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  24. What a nice post! My kids were swimmers in high school (not the top swimmers - but loved it nevertheless) and they had a handicapped swimmer on their team. At each race as she was finishing (always last) all of her teammates would gather at the edge of the pool to cheer her and encourage her. They loved her and she loved them! Oh how I loved (and still do) those kids!!

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  25. That's so amazing! Way to go Lucy! Good for her. Sometimes us as parents have expectations and the little ones are not even thinking about it.

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  26. So dang sweet! Thanks for this post!

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  27. One of my FAVORITE posts EVER! Summer Pen Pal Package goes out to your girls today!! My girls are SO excited! ~Laura

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  28. You, my dear friend, are every mother! We have all had those times where we want our kids to: win the election, get asked to the Prom,not be the team member who makes the third out, etc. But when their little spirits are happy, it reminds us as parents what truly is important. Thank you for expressing your feelings so beautifully and honestly! ~K.

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  29. I have totally been at the end of the pool waiting for my son who was finishing after everyone else was out of the pool. He didn't care at all and was happy that over the season he got several personal best pins. IT can be hard when people these days are so focused on competition and winning to remember that these kids are learning actual skills that they can take with them for the rest of their life not just winning in the moment.

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  30. I have totally been at the end of the pool waiting for my son who was finishing after everyone else was out of the pool. He didn't care at all and was happy that over the season he got several personal best pins. IT can be hard when people these days are so focused on competition and winning to remember that these kids are learning actual skills that they can take with them for the rest of their life not just winning in the moment.

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  31. Out of all your posts I've read over the years, this one simple story has touched me the most. Thank you for sharing the little moments that have made the biggest impact in your life (and in mine)!

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  32. Me too, Amy.

    By the way, Shawni, this reminds me of your Mum & Dad's book Teaching Children Joy, where even tho a child may not achieve a goal (or come first in something) the most important thing was that they had worked towards it - & had joy in it, which lovely Lucy obviously had.:)

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  33. This is one thing missing from "kid sports" today. What a perfect opportunity that EVERY event has...to teach children to wait...and cheer on every "Last Place" participant. What if this was REQUIRED for every event? The energy would be very different...and every one would realize that every person matters and has value in this world. Beautifully written Mama Pothier.

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  34. A winner is a person who finishes. Not the first person to finish.

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  35. I'm deeply maternally achy for you - especially since at the opposite end of your spectrum of children is one whose (likely attainable) aim is a Stanford acceptance. I sympathize with how tough it must be.....yet am inclined to think Lucy's a blessing far beyond any other in your life.

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  36. This is a beautiful post. The heart of what is truly important.

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  37. i love this post. i'm a swimmer and my kids are swimmers…though certainly not the fastest ones in the pool. my sweet little girl came in last in her heat last weekend but she was over the moon about her PINK ribbon she received. keep cheering, mom, you are going GREAT and lucy is, too :) xoxo

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  38. One thing I like about our swim team is that all swimmers stay in the water, in their lanes, until everyone is done. Then they announce the lanes/places. Then they are given permission to leave the pool.

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