A reminder that you've gotta role with the punches, for sure.
So I had a grand plan. My plan is to swim once during the week and once on Saturday while Bug takes his swim lesson. It's perfect, right? He has his lesson and I swim in the pool that's 10 feet away. It would be a short swim, but still--better than nothing! And lately I've been doing a whole lot of nothing when it came to swimming. Which made me sad. Because I am not a duathlete. Or a runner. I am TOTALLY a triathlete at heart and I NEED TO SWIM. (BTW, Mary's got a fabulous post in her hilarious, no-nonsense, Mary style about why swimming is, indeed, important, for triathletes, despite what you may have heard. LOVE.)
So here's what the plan was for Saturday:
Bug and I head to the pool for swim lessons
He has his first indoor swim lesson
I swim 2000 yards
Matt and Bean head to Target to pick up a Strawberry Shortcake present for a 4th birthday party
Then, they come back to get us, as we are all changed and dry
Okay, first of all, let's just start with the obvious flaws. That is ENTIRELY too many things to accomplish in one hour when you have a four year old and a one year old. Seriously. Am I on crack?
But the main thing I didn't factor in?
It's Bug's FIRST day of swim lessons. Bug HATES the first day of ANYTHING. Well, really, the first 15 minutes. After that? He's having a grand old time. But I should have learned my lesson after swim lessons the past few years, the first day of preschool, etc. I know better. The first 15 minutes are not going to be fun. But the thing is, it's worse if I'm around. So then I have to slink away in the shadows and worry that people think I'm horrible for not hovering helicopter-style over Bug. But I know that he really does better if I back off, so I do.
(But that doesn't stop the MommyGuilt Monster from creeping in, since I can't just grab a megaphone and explain to the crowd, "No, really, he does better if I leave! I swear!")
So instead of me seamlessly slipping into the lap lane to crank out 2000 yards, I helped Bug and coaxed him over to the class. I reminded him how he asked, no, BEGGED me for lessons in "the lesson pool," so he could learn how to "swim in the deep." He wasn't having any of it.
So then I tried the whole "walk away" thing. And it worked...for him. Not for me, though. I felt horrible for even thinking about swimming. I frantically called Matt for backup. He brought Bean back and then I felt comfortable attempting a swim.
Trouble was, Bean was in her winter coat. And wanted to swim. NOW.
So, needless to say, I cut the workout short, and looked every few breaths to make sure a) Bug was okay and 2) poor Matt wasn't chasing Bean in the pool fully clothed. Luckily, they have an indoor playground, too, so Bean could run without water involved.
This, my friends, is what you call a supportive husband. Sometimes, people ask how I am able to train with two little ones and a full time job, and my answer is, him. Always him. There's absolutely no way I could pull this off without him, because he knows how important this stuff is to me. So he makes it work, just like I make his soccer tournaments work. We do it because it's part of who we are, so when I frantically call him when he's in the Target parking lot and say, "please, please...I need help" he is always there. He knew how hard it's been for me to get to the pool and when this plan came unraveling he didn't hesitate to change his plans and come back...and I'm so grateful.
After the (shorter) workout, Bug begged to stay and play. I had told him he could only if he listened to his teachers, and he swore to me that he played "Red Light, Green Light" and kicked with the kids in class, which he did. So it really, truly was only the first 15 minutes that was the rough patch, the "no-I-don't-wanna-do-this" whimpers, the part where half of me wanted to just make him feel better and take him away and the other half knows that's not the right thing to do. Because he needs to learn how to swim, for safety's sake. And also, he loves it. And after that 15 minutes, he did love it. He couldn't stop talking about it the rest of the day--how the one little guy in his class had a Batman towel, or how he did "animal jumps" with Coach Anna.
And that Strawberry Shortcake thing? We got it on our way home. It all worked out, like it always does.
Someday soon, he'll take off running full speed ahead without me. Without even a second glance. And I'll miss these days, when he needed me and when I was afraid to walk away, even though I knew it was what he needed me to do. And those first 15 minutes? When he gets on that school bus? When he drives away in that car?
I'm pretty sure it will be a lot worse for me than for him. But I've got the best team around to help me out.