Got Some Parental Angst? A Day in the Life Sunday

Parenting is joyful yet we face some bumps along the way. One bump for me as a parent is knowing when an angst I have is more about me than my child.



Parents are told to guide and protect while allowing their child to make decisions and live with the consequences of the choices she makes. When it comes to safety and security, the decisions are mine. It's innocuous situations that cause me to stop and question my intentions.

So, the kid is on a competitive swim team and for a number of reasons, i.e. spring breaks and winter storms in April, she hasn't swam consistently for a few weeks. I know from repeating personal experiences how easy it is to fall off the fitness wagon, how it feels to go from tortoise to hare and how hard it is to get back into shape. I share this with kid, kid is torn because she wants to please me, I realize this was my angst, I stop talking and sigh. Yes, an athlete has to practice to get better but at that moment, it wasn't about swim times; it was about a mother (still not sure where her "push line" should be) quieting down to listen to her daughter.

Did she swim that night? No. And not the following night either. She was sick. She did swim the rest of the week with her team and on her own Saturday and Sunday. She's swimming a 500 yard free next weekend - her longest race ever - and wants to do her best. 

She's twelve with limited life experiences. I have more experiences - and more filters. I can't separate myself from my filters. They are there, I'll watch for them and when I see them, I will stop and listen to the spoken and unspoken words of my daughter.

What else is a parent to do?

The Kid Swims: A Day in the Life Sunday

Writing is getting to be a family affair and I am ok with that . . . as long as the kid doesn't write better than I do.

She is creating an autobiography as part of a school project, highlighting some events and thoughts about growing up. I recently shared my new found identity as a swim mom and when I saw what she wrote about swimming, I just had to share it with you.


Beep! You hear the long whistle signaling you to step up on the starting block. You can feel the hum of preface jitters flowing through your body like a wildfire. Minutes ago you were pacing the length of the pool promising yourself no matter what happens you'll be okay. You temporarily calmed yourself down. But now on the block, it all comes back. "What if I sink?" "What if I come in last?" All these thoughts are racing through my head, and more.  Then you hear the distant, "up" as your head plunges into the water.

And that's when the joy of flying begins.

I like to refer to swimming as flying since it has that amazing feeling of floating.  I've loved that sensation since I was a little girl. I have loved on the Mississippi river my entire life so I am used to swimming almost every day. Apparently swimming against the river current worked up some muscles with long names that I can't spell. I knew I wanted to be a swimmer the minute I stepped foot in the water. But I knew I wanted to be a competitive swimmer when my friend started.

I've only been to 2  swim meets since I've only begun swimming recently. I've won 2 heats and came 2nd in my heat in 2 races of 5. The swim meets take place in many different places in Minnesota. Approximately 100 people swim for my swim club ranging in ages from 4 to 34 years old.

One moment stuck in my mind is when I did my first swim meet. I was nervous yet confident for my 50 yard freestyle because I had just come in 3rd in my heat for backstroke. I jumped in the water and swam like my life depended on it, which my ego sorta did. All my work paid off and I was rewarded with my first big win.

I am not sure where I want swimming to be in my future but I know I want to continue with swimming.  I am not sure about it being a full-time job. I just don't want my life dreams to be shattered by losing one race.  I'll be sure to get back to you as soon as I find out.

You splash to the wall and turn. Then you make your way through the water desperately trying to finish first. Soon you glide smoothly under water to the finish pad. Even with all the nerves, I know I want to fly forever. 


What do you think? Is she giving me a run for my writing money? In the pool, I don't have a stinkin' chance.

Photo credit iStockPhoto