Growing up in the Midwest I never gave swimming much thought. It was considered a life skill and everyone had varying levels of ability. I spent most of my summer days at the park district pool with my sister and our best friends.
Back then there was no organized team, goal-setting, or parental involvement in any way. We were just a group of happy kids who came home exhausted at dinner time.
Flash forward a few decades. I earned a degree, got married, and started a family. Today, my children swim year-round on a competitive team. The downtime I once had completely vanished.
Practice schedules, sign-up deadlines, and team activities now occupy every space on the family calendar. The mere sight of it can bring the most organized person to their knees. I’m not being dramatic. Just keeping it real.
There are some things I can always count on. Like a pile of wet towels in the laundry room, our family “vacation” will revolve around an out of town meet, and my children smell like chlorine, even after showering.
My kitchen will always be a mess because swimmers eat all the time. We’re talking four meals a day, snacks on the way to and from practice, during homework, and right before bed. My weekly grocery bill is one of the highest monthly expenses in the family budget, and I work hard to stretch every dollar.
But deep down I really don’t mind these things. I got used to them. If you are nodding your head in agreement then you know what it’s like to walk in my flip-flops.