Summer, Day 36

Monday, Monday ...

I'm writing this Tuesday and trying to remember my Monday. The boys had swim and dive practice in the morning. Ben was upset during his swim time because his goggles didn't work the way he wanted -- his old pair broke last week -- so later in the day we went to the swim shop and bought him two new pairs (thinking at he'll be happy with at least one of them). I bought Michael a new pair as well.

The boys swam in a meet later Monday. Michael dove OK, then struggled a little during the meet. For some reason, he didn't swim a freestyle this meet, but instead competed in two backstrokes (one in a relay) and, for the first time, the breaststroke. We didn't expect much from the breast -- his time wasn't great, but the best part was the Joker-smile he appeared to be flashing every time his head came out of the water -- but thought he would do great in the backstroke after last week. He started both out strong, then lost focus. I was volunteering as a timekeeper, and during the 25 back, I told the other timekeeper in our lane that Michael could win this after seeing him swim the first 10 yards. Then, Michael slowed down and finished about five seconds slower than last week. As a parent, I want to figure out why he doesn't perform as well as he normally does in anything. I want to say I believe "as a parent," but is it just me because I used to analyze why I didn't do as well. Michael gave us some reasons: He was bored; he was tired; he's trying but just can't. Maybe he's just a typical kid who will experience his ups and downs. We want him to at least try, and thinking he's not is tough for me, especially when I compare him with Ben, who's not as athletic or wiry but tries so hard.

Ben's hard work is starting to pay off. After his morning meltdown, he swam phenomenal times (for him), knocking three seconds off his freestyle personal record and a whopping 10 seconds off his backstroke PR. He actually stopped once or twice in his freestyle, leading me to think he'd not break his best, but making me realize afterward is that he's just getting faster. And in the backstroke, he swam into the lane line and still won his heat. No, he didn't win the whole event, but against the five other kids in the pool with him at that time, he came in first.

Maybe it was the goggles.

Ahead to Day 37.


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