Both my sons have had unbelievable swim seasons. In winter swimming they were usually always in the last heat, some of the slower kids. This summer they placed in most of their races. It was so exciting and they swam against each other often. Ryan usually won over Aaron but Aaron was almost always very close behind. More than having a winning season they learned huge lessons this summer
Swimming this summer taught they boys the meaning of team. Ryan finally understands that placing gets points for the team and he loves to help the team. He used to lumber down the pool not caring much during every race. This summer he tried his best at every meet. Even if he didn’t win the fact he tried so hard won my respect. Aaron has always been a warrior trying his best but he was so little and young. His strokes have really come together and look pretty.
Ryan has become a team member. At the end of the meet last night I found him cheering on the relays wearing the Gator hat. Last season he could care less what the other team members were doing. He never wanted to be part of the cheer at the beginning nor would he want to be with the other kids cheering. It’s completely different this summer. Finding him yelling and screaming with his swim team friends smiling ear to ear gave me so much hope. Heck, the announcer even let him announce the winner of the meet last night. It wasn’t our team who won but it didn’t matter.
On Tuesday morning Ryan and Aaron swam the JV meet. Ryan used the JV meet as practice having placed out a few weeks before. Aaron swam the JV meets for points having not placed out till after the last meet. The other team didn’t have any kids legal in butterfly and the only kids in the event were Ryan and Aaron. They swam as hard as possible and Ryan won by a half a body length being the older, taller, stronger brother. What he did after the win stole my heart. Ryan quickly got out of the pool, walked over to Aaron’s lane, and offered his little brother his hand. He pulled Aaron out of the pool and hugged him and said excitedly, You got the points for first place Aaron, I am so proud! At that moment I cried.
The social lessons both boys learned being part of this team this summer are huge and Ryan has had so many more successful interaction than he ever does. Yesterday the meet was delayed an hour and a half due to thunder. Ryan played ping pong with R a kid he has been hanging out with at the pool forever. Then I saw him with a bunch of kids practicing his cart wheels which is one of his most favorite thing. I didn’t have to grab him, he didn’t hurt anyone, and he was completely appropriate even in a situation where there were a bunch of people crowded into a small piece of real estate. Not one, hey Ryan that is inappropriate or pulling him away to think.
I am just so proud of both my boys. This summer so far is something from a happy dream. Pinch me.