M1 participated in his very first competitive swim meet last night. I'm so very proud of him; more importantly, the last thing he said to me last night as he drifted off to sleep (the minute his head hit the pillow) was, "I'm proud of myself."
No matter how badly the meet had gone (and we did have some blunders), that made it all worth it.
I've never been a parent of a competitive child. I was never in sports as a child, either (other than a couple seasons of soccer when I was M2's age), so one thing I wasn't prepared for was all the waiting.
There was lots of waiting. Waiting on the side, watching teammates swim...
... plus waiting for M1's event to come up, and all the other 'waiting' that comes along with sports where not everyone competes at once.
M2 got bored, so in between M1's events, Oz and I took her outside to escape the stifling heat and humidity of the pool deck.
She was so patient with all the hoopla surrounding her brother. I'm proud of her, too.
We did eventually get to see M1 swim, though.
His first event, freestyle, went well. I felt bad for him; his goggles slipped down to his chin when he dove into the water. He kept going, though, and finished his heat. Woohoo!
His second event was the backstroke. He got a little flustered and nearly did freestyle out of habit but realized his mistake and flipped over pretty quickly. And again, he finished. He didn't wig out. He didn't cry or get angry or embarrassed. He knew this was his first meet and there would be lots of subsequent chances to work out the kinks. The fact that he didn't melt at any point in time is cause for celebration for me, regardless of anything else.
Finally, he had his breaststroke event...
... and came second in his heat. Second out of three or four... but still, he actually beat people to the wall!
He had fun. He learned how meets work. And I'm sure when he goes for his next one, he'll have that much more confidence. Congratulations, M1!