So swim mom it is.
After enrolling my daughters in classes and camps for nearly a decade, we’ve got a winner—for one of them anyway.
Beginning when they were old enough to hold their heads up, they shoved books, musical instruments and (non-toxic) art supplies into their mouths in an effort to find their “thing” they would enjoy doing in life. As they got older it was off to everything from Lego Engineering Camp to theatre and from summer T-ball to tap dancing.
We have discovered that my 9-year-old daughter doesn’t like anything and views enrichment activities as some sort of punishment designed to torture her. On the other hand My 7-year-old daughter loves everything and can’t understand why she can’t go to classes every day of her young life.
But now she has found something she loves more than any other: Synchro.
That’s Synchronized Swimming for those of you who don’t spend your mornings on the pool deck watching your daughter contort herself into seemingly impossible positions all while suspended in 12-feet of water.
I blame this latest foray into a whole new world on insomnia. My husband and I both suffer and stay up late watching whatever is on TV. Every four summers what’s on that time of night is the less popular summer Olympic events: softball, mountain biking and yes, synchronized swimming.
For those of you who go to bed at a decent hour, synchronized swimming is “a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, trios, combos, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Synchronized swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. During lifts, (where six people act as the platform, one person acts as a base, and one and/or two people act as flyers) swimmers are required not to touch the bottom – yet pull off an outstanding lift.”
That’s the encyclopedic definition, but I can define it in one word: impressive.
Sure, I started out mocking it, but that was before I tried to fathom how they could actually pull off those moves…in mid water.
So this spring I started looking into the sport for my daughter who never, ever, wants to get out of the pool. I was shocked to find not one, but two synchro teams in my little corner of the land-locked state of Colorado.
The first, with the unfortunate name of the “Orcas,” was already full for the competitive season. Then I find out there’s a summer team and next thing I know I’m driving my daughter across town every morning to a pool that’s actually deep enough for “tower,” “barracuda” and “dolphin.”
And now I have a daughter on a sports team for the first time. Well, there was the summer my then 5 year-old spent playing t-ball, but I’m not going to count it since she spent all her time on the field catching insects.
After a whopping two weeks of practice their first meet is in Denver in two days. They had a mock meet this morning and I, in a rare instance, found absolutely nothing to mock.
I was so proud watching her power through moves that I will never complete myself. And in that moment I knew, in the end children are the ones who decide what their “thing” in life is to be. We parents are just the drivers.