Courtesy Elizabeth Wickham
Now that my youngest is swimming in college, I’m nostalgic for my kids’ age group years. The swim team was a part of our daily schedule and I could watch my kids swim whenever I wanted —without getting on an airplane. Here are some of the things I miss most about being an age group swim mom:
The Sights, Sounds and Smells.
The smell of chlorine in the car, the sound of water splashing and teammates cheering, plus the sight of sunrises and sunsets from the pool deck are things I miss.
I miss sitting with parents in our folding chairs at the far edge of the deck, laughing and talking. Countless days we walked together at meets and practices. I respect so many families I met through swimming and hope our friendships continue on for years.
Our team is known for their breakfast burritos and coaches’ hospitality at meets—featuring lobster and prime rib dinners. I miss our team’s potlucks with everyone’s favorite recipes. I miss cooking spaghetti dinners at our home with loaves and loaves of garlic bread and pounds and pounds of meatballs and spaghetti.
Tired and Hungry Kids.
My house sits empty when I used to have tired kids after evening practices. They wanted dinner, a hug, and a few hours for homework before they fell into their beds.
Volunteering at Meets.
I miss the feeling of accomplishment after successfully hosting a three-day meet. I wish I still had the energy or enthusiasm to work that hard for three straight days.
I learned so much from several swim moms of older swimmers. They took me under their wings and guided me through our first swim meet, then higher level meets with prelims and finals and into the process of college recruiting. I’m forever grateful for the wisdom these moms shared with me.
Traveling to meets is something I miss especially. The kids were ours for entire weekends, just hanging out and relaxing when they weren’t swimming. I loved those weekends away and will treasure the memories of being together.
Remember when your kids dropped time at any random meet—without being rested, shaved or tapered? While our kids were growing and their technique improved, we never knew what to expect.
What do you miss most about age group swimming?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.