August 04, 2013

Our Little Swimmer

Aubrey has always loved to swim. As in, if there is water around she will be asking to go in it. I have always been a tad excited with her love for water because I was a swimmer and loved it. Was I good? Far from it but I only have awesome memories of it. There is something about diving into the cool water and having that time to myself to just think. I kind of feel the same these days when I blog. It was a time that I could just daydream about whatever I wanted. I always hoped that some of our kids would be swimmers because I still find such peace at the pool. 

Her cheering squad who I think looked more forward to a snack during practice than actually watching their sister!

Posing for the paparazzi
This past winter Aubrey asked if she could be on swim team and I couldn't answer 'yes' fast enough. Natalie had no interest in swim team. She liked water but only on Natalie terms. It was fun to put your feet in but she did not like being told what to do in the water. As soon as the summer rec brochure came out I had Aubrey signed up for a 6 week non-competitive swim team. Of course in May when the girls had swim lessons Natalie realized she loves the water just as much as her sister but there was already a waiting list for the team. 

Story behind this picture: Momma had all 7 kids and when I got to the pool the stroller had a flat rear tire. Between the girls and I we carried everything we needed for 90 minutes AND 4 babies. After many rest stops we made it and I called Paul and told him he had to meet us at the pool at noon to help because there was no way I was doing it again.
The first day as Aubrey spent more time on the lane guides and holding onto the wall all I could think was 'am I being the parent that pushes her child to do something for the parents benefit?' The first three days were rough for both Aubrey and I. Aubrey was swimming like she had never felt water against her body. Her goggles seemed to leak constantly (her way of resting on the side). And then Thursday came which was water polo day and our little swimmer was back. At the end of practice she got to jump off the diving board and as she was standing in line I could tell she was nervous and she kept letting all the kids pass her. I walked up to her and stood with her in line and when it was her turn she went and stood at the end of the board and jumped. The smile on her face when her head surfaced gave away how happy she was with herself. As she climbed the ladder out of the pool she looked at me and told me she couldn't wait for next Thursday so she could jump again and then she added that next time she didn't need me to walk with her. I was so proud of her!
Always smiling when doing her backstroke!

For six weeks we went to the pool four times a week and each day Aubrey got better and better. For two weeks of swim team we also put the girls in lessons to learn strokes and so Aubrey swam for 90 minutes but never once complained. About four weeks into team Aubrey started asking why practice was getting shorter and shorter. Paul and I had to explain that practice wasn't getting shorter she was just getting better and having more fun. It was unbelievable how she went from multiple lane guide rest to swimming back and forth with no stops. How she looked forward to lining up each day to jump into the water. And the day after practice was done she was already saying she missed swim team and wanted to know when we could sign her up again. 
She LOVED her water polo days.

Coach Ashley

I see many more days spent at the pool and this just thrills me. As soon as we move the girls have both asked if we can find a winter swim team and you bet I will be looking. Two girls after my own heart. Aubrey girl, mom and dad are so proud of you . You did something that you had never done before without your sister by your side and you did amazing. You have an awesome back stroke but what I think makes it so awesome is we can see the huge smile on your face that tells us you are having a blast!
The big kids.

And sometimes it's just fun to act silly.

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