Just like the coach said, “1-2, breathe on 3”

After spending an entire year with absolutely zero things on our calendar, our family is jumping into the figurative AND literal deep-end.

We signed our kids up for swim team.

I know that a lot of people’s kids do swim team, but this is our first time. And I sort of feel like we’re the first family to ever do this. After each practice drop-off I’m standing there, out of breath, my pockets stuffed with goggle. I keep looking around at the parents like “WE DID IT! WE MADE IT TO PRACTICE!” and everyone is standing there to show up to a place ON TIME. It’s not normal. It’s really, really hard. And at the end of this, I hope the parents get trophies.

I should start by mentioning that swim team practice is EVERY DAY. Every day! And at dinner time! (That sound you hear in the background is Tom, noting that it’s actually only four days a week. And only at dinner time for like the first two weeks.) So, as I was saying EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! AT DINNER TIME!

If you’re the kind of person (me!) who was absolutely steam-rolled by the “we’ll just have practice 30 minutes before each game!” soccer schedule, perhaps swim team might be, um, a bit much for you?

We decided to sign the kids up for swim team for a few reasons. First, they’ve gotten very little social interaction in the past year, and a ton of their friends from school do swim.

Second, our kids are great swimmers, but they don’t know strokes. I was the same as a kid. I swam all the time, but swim team wasn’t really a thing in our area, so I never learned proper swim technique. That’s one of the things I regret not learning. And if raising kids is not simply an exercise of cataloguing your regrets and making them right via your children, then what is it?

Heads up to my kids: I also regret not being more diligent about sunscreen and most of my romantic relationships, so GET EXCITED about those lectures!

We’re very, very early into our swim team tenure, so I can’t offer any quick tips! or seven things you need to know! Or best pre-swim snacks!

But I can tell you what not to do. Do NOT show up a full 10 minutes late to your first-ever swim practice, dragging a bag of snacks and trailing four kids.

Showing up ten minutes late means that your kids miss the all-important “Hi! I’m your coach! Welcome to swim practice!” portion of practice, and instead have no choice but to literally jump into a lane and try to make sense of the mess of flapping arms and splashing legs.

In sum, day one did not go well.

But day two? Day two was super fun. The kids were at practice on time AND they found friends from school. AND they learned the butterfly, which should be called the dolphin, don’t you think, Mom? AND the teacher showed them how when you do freestyle you should hold your hand like this and pretend you have $100 in your pocket! And if you don’t hold your hand like that then the coach could steal the money, and then she said she’s be rich! But then everyone in the lane counted and actually she’d only have like $800, so that’s not REALLY rich, is it, Mom?

After all that excited chatter, we all looked up the Olympic qualifying times for swimming. Then we sent everyone to bed, because swim practice just does something to kids, doesn’t it? Somehow my children, who are used to being in a pool all day every day, are completely wiped after 30 minutes at practice.

Fulfilling my childhood dreams AND tiring the kids out!?! What more could I want!?

It’s going to be a great season.




  1. Ally May 29, 2021

    I decided to join the swim team my junior year of high school and swam that year and the next. I had a ball, though I was a very mediocre competitive swimmer. I wish I would’ve started swimming sooner, but like you, that was not an option in my area growing up. I hope your kids have a blast with their friends and learning a new sport!

  2. Taylor June 12, 2021

    This sounds wonderful and, while I hate being too busy, it’s definitely inspiring me!


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