Monday, June 4, 2012

Tears and Perseverance

Little Man had his first day of Swim Team practice today.  He is on the "Minnows" team for the 5 and 6 year old's and has a friend from pre-school on his team.  He has been so excited about going to practice and has been asking "is today the day, is today the day" since last week.  But the poor little guy was a bit overwhelmed at the reality of it all.

He willingly went over to the group and sat with his friend for the stretches and warm up.  By the conclusion of the warm up, he had psyched himself out and the tears were flowing.  He came over to me and told me that he wanted to go home.  I explained that he had to try and he had to be brave.  I felt awful.  I wanted to wrap him in a towel and hustle him out of there.  I hate to see him struggle, but the truth of the matter is that there are going to be lots of things that he is going to be scared to try and I want him to understand that the "trying" part is the most important part.  So I told him that he had to go but if he didn't like it we could talk about not going back.  He hung his head but went into the water.  He did everything they asked and even looked like he was having fun except for the tears that continued to flow the ENTIRE time.  I am a sympathetic crier and it was hard for me to keep it together for 45 minutes of tears and swim practice.  I thought for sure that the second he was out of the water he would insist on not going back.  Much to my surprise the first words out of his mouth after practice were "We have to bring marshmallows to practice tomorrow because we are having an ice cream social".  I bent down and asked him if we were coming to practice tomorrow and he nodded his little head and said "yeah, for the ice cream".  Thank God for Ice Cream socials!

On the way home he rebounded and asked me if I was proud of him even though he cried.  I wanted to pull the car over and yank him out of his car seat and smother him in hugs. I told him that I was even more proud of him because he finished practice even though he was crying.  Papa Bear made him a special strawberry smoothie and he had some gummie penguins too when he got home.  He was happy and regaling Papa Bear with stories from the day. 

I think there is going to be a bit of bribery needed to get through Swim Team this summer.  Who cares?!  He got 3 M&M's every day for his entire school year in the 2's classroom.  A few gummie bears to get him through a summer of Swim Team is a small price to pay and the truth of it is that when he is done being scared and unsure of himself, he is going to love it.


  1. You, my friend, are an AWESOME mom. Your sweet kids probably don't yet realize just how lucky they are (just cause they probably think feeling so safe and loved is totally normal--which is awesome!)...but they will realize how blessed they are at some point:)

  2. Thanks Jess! That is very kind of you to say. If they don't realize it when they are older I will send them to visit you so that you can straighten them out!