I know that most parents sign their kids up for a ton of activities. It's great for them to try new things and figure out what they enjoy at an early age. They learn a ton from being on a team and listening to coaches, or dance instructors, or library story tellers, or piano teachers. You get the picture. It's generally a really good thing. Except that families are so busy now. Exhaustively busy actually. Like, spend your entire day driving your kids around to their next scheduled activity busy. And the more kids the busier you are.
So, for now our kids can have one activity. During the summers generally that's been t-ball or machine pitch. (For full disclosure they also always do swim lessons, but that doesn't count in my book for some reason). We have spent 4 years at the ball fields watching t-ball. And I'll admit - it's not that fun. It's hot. Really hot in Kansas. 101 degrees hot. There is no shade. And the sun does not get low enough to be hidden. Ever. Plus, t-ball lacks all the essentials for excitement. There are no points kept. No kids get out. Which is great for the kiddos when they're learning. It is not great for the fans. Last year we had one in t-ball and one in machine-pitch. It was exhausting sitting out there every night of the week in that heat!
All these years Chris has been telling me that we just need to put the kids on the swim team. He and his brother and sister all did the swim team for many years. His mom's rationale was simple. 1) It's a basic life skill everyone should have (and our house backs up to a pond). 2) All the kids' practices and meets are at the same place at the same time. Thus you aren't splitting up at different ball fields every day of the week. I got that, but I never felt like our kids were ready for the team. They've all done lessons since they were little. But that's just a few weeks out of the summer, not enough to every really become good swimmers.
But this year Sophia wanted to try and she was completely over machine-pitch softball. So we signed up. I was really nervous because it said you had to be able to swim the 50 meter length of the pool. I KNEW she couldn't do that! She couldn't even doggy paddle that far. But we signed up anyways. Last Tuesday was her first practice and exactly one week later was her first meet. Six races later...my girl is becoming a real swimmer!
I'll post pictures soon, but who knew? It was shocking in all seriousness that the girl could race the length of the pool that many times when only a week earlier she couldn't doggy paddle it. And let me tell you about the temperatures. It's cooler at a pool. Cooler at least than the dirt ball field. Other parents and teammates cheer for your kids. Even the ones in last place. Especially the ones in last place.
So, I am officially stating, for the record, that Chris was right. I don't say things like that very often!! The swim team is more exciting to watch than girls t-ball/machine pitch softball. I enjoy it so much more, and so does Sophia. We're already trying to figure out if all 3 girls can do it next year so we can hopefully avoid 2 more years of t-ball with Isabella.