Thursday, June 25, 2015

Swim Swam Swum

Swim team season is here! Despite my love for swimming as a sport and my own extremely fond memories of summer league as a kid, I was a bit reluctant for Landon to join the team last summer because, in short: I hate giving up my weekends, I didn't know anyone on the team (I actually hung around the wrong team area for a while at the first meet last summer because the fact that I didn't recognize a single person seemed right), and I was going to be solo-parenting 6+ hour meets, 1+ hour away, with 3 kids, including a 7-month old baby. But it was actually fun. REALLY fun. I met some awesome people and discovered my husband is a freaking rock star on the pool deck, even when he's not on it. Once a few strangers in the stands knew I was Coach James's wife, they weren't strangers at all- Cora was held, Claire was entertained, Landon was cheered for, and it was everything I remembered summer league to be.

So I was already excited about this summer. Landon had an incredibly successful season last year, going undefeated in both his events up to the Regional Area meet, and it was so fun to watch him do so well and enjoy it so much. And this year Claire would get to join the team! She's the youngest swimmer since she only turned 5 the first week of the season, but she passed her 25 yard swim test and is a proud member of the team.

Other promised highlights include Cora dropping her morning nap, James reworking his schedule to avoid Saturday morning lessons, and both kids being on the same meet with practices and meets and the same time! So efficient!

We had our first meet two weeks ago and both kids did great. Claire took her events very seriously and even though I know she's a strong swimmer, particularly for her age, she still looked so tiny and the pool looked so long when she dove in for her 25 yard free.

She also did the 25 yard backstroke, and while she turned over once when she hit a lanerope and thought it was the wall, she rolled back over and finished the whole length on her back to the end. We were very proud and Cora, who genuinely loves watching other people swim, clapped for her at the end.

And Landon, oh Landon, he has a really rather incredible talent for swimming. James and I are both very against pushing our kids to swim, and then even if our kids want to swim, we're even more against letting them join a USS club team until close to high school. We watched too many people burn out, and all the best swimmers we knew, including all our Olympian buddies, didn't do year-round until about 14 years old. And James, for all his intensity and competitiveness towards himself with swimming, isn't intense or competitive at all with regard to our kids in sports. So when we both watch Landon and kind of shake our heads and laugh and admit to each other that holy freaking crap he is really, really good, it's not something we say lightly.

I overheard one of the parents in the team area say to another, "Oh, Landon is about to swim! You've got to see this."

last heat, boys 7&8 25 yd free

He has a beautiful stroke, particularly for his age. He won the 25 yard fly too, a new event for him (he's in the 7/8 age group now, so there's a few more options). After some very unbalanced soccer seasons (his coach rarely played him last season and for a bunch of 7-year-olds that just seems ridiculous to me and it made my heart hurt from the stands; swimming is very egalitarian in its clock and even number of event entries), it's just so fun to watch him have this success. Especially when he's so mellow-Landon about it.

Cora also enjoyed the meet, mostly because she talked her big sibs out of all their snacks.

She loves anything she can do with Landon and Claire. Swim meets are such a family occasion.

Though she did get a little tired by the very end.

We stopped for pizza on the way home, Cora took a 3 hour nap while James went to coach, and then we spent the afternoon in our own pool, because summer! Cora got another swim lesson and she was not super excited about it.

The only time she says "mama" is when James is moving her around in the water. It's like she keeps it in reserve for really serious situations.

Unfortunately for her, her dad has literally made his career on ignoring the cries of small children in swim lessons, so they pushed through. Landon helped show her the way.

And luckily, she came around. By the end she wasn't even crying and her last two lessons have been great! Though I doubted him ("this is just going to make her hate the water more!"), I was wrong and James was right and I am willing to admit it (on this very specific subject).

We've spent every late afternoon for the last two weeks in the pool. Last week Cora just played with her buckets around the edge, but this week she has decided she wants to be IN. In and under. This means I have to abandon my beverage and my book and actually get in the water, which is sad for me, I do love how much she loves it.

And in other swimming related news, James had a press release for his Brick posted on, a swimming website I wish had existed back when I was interested in the kinds of things posted on swimming websites. It was also featured on the Swim Swam facebook page where it has gotten 8,043 likes so far.

8.043! That has blown our minds a bit- and to think we were all excited at dinner last night because it crossed 300! So hopefully this will translate to lots of new sales. Bricks for everyone!

Except Cora. Cora could do a lot of damage with something like that.


  1. Landon does have a very Phelps-ian body. I see many glittery tops and big earring in your future! #Debbiestyle

    1. That made me laugh out loud. Can I bring high heels to swim meets and call it #Rebeccastyle instead?

  2. Wow! Just watched the video of Landon swimming--he already has better technique than _at least_ half of the kids that were on my high school swim team!

  3. That video of Landon swimming is beautiful. Seriously amazing.

    PS- Where is Cora's suit from? I think Avery needs one

    1. Gymboree! But last season. They have some cute ones this time around too!

  4. I'm nowhere near the swimmers you and your husband are (just HS state level), but OH MY WORD, Landon has the most beautiful stroke. For his age?!- INSANE. Wow.

  5. No wonder he's a celebrity! All your kids are so darn amazing!

  6. another comment....who's yelling "go landon" first? Is that your voice? I know, I'm creepy to want to know. sigh.

    1. Hahaha, I love it! That was one of his fans/team parents, I'm the one who yelled second. My voice isn't actually very loud :).