Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swim Season has ended

I guess all good things have to come to an end. Last Saturday we said farewell to our swim season.
On the superstars night of swimming Annie Kate swam 3 strokes and ended the year on a good note by beating or matching her last best time. She was going for the color of ribbons and wanted to win one of the big fluffy ribbons in a yellow for Sally Jane (4th place) Pink for Caroline (6th place) and a blue (1st place) her favorite color. I tried to explain to her to do her best and not shoot for 6th place. The night ended with a yellow, pink and blue in her hand - i am not sure how that happened but it did. Breast stroke is her stroke and she wanted that blue ribbon so bad. It was the first time in her sporting events that I have ever seen that fire in her eyes to push it. I stood at the end of the lane and just looked her in the eyes each time her head popped up. It was the first stroke all season I didn't photograph her doing but just was the supportive mom. She said she could see me the whole time. I don't think she cared that she was first but just knew what she had to do to get that blue color. I thought that was kind of funny.
This year she learned to do the flip turn and I just could not believe that she caught on. This was her last flip turn of the season and I loved how this photo turned out with her little toe and the water splashing.
Sally Jane even got into the spirit and let me color all over her back with
permanent sharpies. It only took 4 days to come off.
Annie Kate and her cute distant cousin who is also on the team
While I love this photo of Jeff and Caroline at her last meet, I was sad I never got one of me and the girls. I must remember the power of self portraits

We brought markers in the kingfish colors for anyone else who wanted a little 3 day tattoo.
Caroline at her last practice with one of her favorite coaches. She loves this guy
He is so cute with them and after practice does the team cheer.
"What time is it?"
then they all scream "Go Time" and then they grunt.
Sally Jane while content at the other end of the pool in her shallow beach slope now is calling herself a Kingfish for next year and wants a trophy. She is going to have to do some serious private winter lessons to get ready to be on pre-team.
The last practice they had a fun pancake breakfast for the kids and the week before one of the moms donated t-shirts for all the kids and they got to tie dye them all. This is some serious parental support on this team. I think it helps because everyone on the team lives in the same neighborhood together and since our houses are all on top of each other, we all know each other pretty well.
Caroline pretty much had blue lips half of the summer thanks to the icee's they sold each meet.Annie Kate was constantly making gifts for the coaches all season. (hmm wonder where that comes from? what a sick curse)
these were wood chips left over from camp that she hand stamped "Kingfish 2008" on each one and then colored over and sanded with the team colors.
I wish I had taken a photo of all the friendship bracelets she made over the summer for each of the coaches.
The funny story of her Pre-team follies (a meet only for preteam). the other team didn't show so is was more of an exhibition meet if you will. She was going to swim just the kick board race and the freestyle. I had asked her before if she would swim backstroke, but she was scared and said she didn't know how. (since she never gets to nervous I knew to take her serious)
then at the meet-exhibition they were missing one kid in one of the lanes. One of her favorite boy coaches (photo above) said, "Caroline, come over here you are swimming backstroke" He motioned her to the end of the pool and sat her down in the lane. I, the over protective mother, told him she doesn't know how- i had never seen her do backstroke without sinking after 10 seconds. He said, "who cares she can flip over and swim free, what is she going to do get disqualified"
then that little fireball grabbed the wall ready to push off and zoomed down her land not missing a beat and even had great form. I could not believe it. Our swim team closing social was one of my favorite things we did last year. It brought back great memories of such an unexpected activity for our girls. Last year the next day we left for Europe and had not packed one thing. We were laughing at how relaxed we were about hanging out until 10:00 pm and then hopping a flight the next day.
It was fun to soak in the beauty of this neighborhood where anyone could walk (of course we drove the 3 blocks) to the park to enjoy the evening. Many people had their wicker picnic baskets and bottles of wine eating dinner before the award ceremony. We of course tried to feed the kids before and they didn't eat anything and then were hungry when we got there.
I snapped this photo of Annie Kate before we moved to the basketball courts for the slide show (the word slide show does not even do justice to the academy award movie that one of the parents made to recap the season)
I don't think I like it because it was one of those aha moments as a parent when you say, "my kid is growing up"
This is the photo of the girls and the most amazing swim coach ever. He is tough with the kids. He expects their best in the pool but I think cares more about how they are out of the pool and how they treat each other and their parents. He is gentle with the kids and any time he saw Sally Jane he would say , "can't wait to have you on the team next year!"
My girls love this guy. After I took the photo Caroline turned around and hugged his guts out with a choke hold around his neck. His face looked shocked. I was enjoying the moment too much to take another photo, although now the look on his face would be priceless.
This was the scene as we were all setting our lawn chairs on the basketball court. The Dad who did concessions all year came and threw out the rest of the candy for all the kids. It was the highlight of their summer i am sure.
Caroline had been talking about this night all year. "oh I hope I get a trophy." I don't think she realized everyone got one. When she stood up there with 20 kids it was like she was the only one up there getting her trophy.

After she got it she ran over and showed it to Jeff who then says, "look it is a bum trophy" And the rest of the night she held it up saying, "hey look at my bum!"

So, another swim season comes to a close. It is bitter sweet and that was all, I mean all we have done for 8 weeks. we have been at the pool twice a day (many days we never left) and meets twice a week. We have very tan legs, Sally Jane's hair is a little green and we can't wait for next year.


Anonymous said...

I read another trick about getting the green out of blonde hair (it seriously hinders my fun in the pool). Crunch up two aspirin in a spray bottle, spritz on and leave for two minutes. Rinse then wash.

I don't know if it works, or how well, but I need all the help I can get. Both of my girls are blondies.

Liz said...

What a fun swim season! It is good you took the time to document all of this! Your girls are so cute!

everything pink said...

hey thanks for the tip.

Traci said...

That would be so fun to live in that neighborhood and have that kind of support! What a fun swim team! Loved the pics and here's to next year with hopefully all 3 of your girls!

Jill said...

This sounds like such a remarkable community experience. It has been fun reading about it and seeing all your great photos, though I can't believe you've been forgetting to take self-portraits!

The bum trophies are funny!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

It's fun to see such team spirit alive and well in communities. I just love when neighborhoods get behind their kids in providing good opportunities. Go King Fish!

Tasha said...

I'll bet Sally Jane's beautiful blonde is a little green! She is so fair! I love the trophys! Have a wonderful time in Italy if I don't talk to you before then!

Price Cream Parlor said...

You realize you live in a magical place, right? I love reading and seeing the photos of swimming. It just looks like the best place to live and raise littles!
Love the idea of the markers! FUN!
Bum trophies are the best! :-)

kelly said... many great ideas for our swim team next year!!! Swim/Dive team is just the best!!!!!!! Congrats girls on a great season!

LJ and DC said...

Look at how cute the girls are!!! Sad to see the season end.

sweetfunkyvintage said...

what an amazing experience!!

Elizabeth said...

What an amazing experience for your kids.

Marla said...

I have loved reading your entries about your swimteam & community pool. What a great experience for your girls!

dani said...

those are the cutest pictures ever kristi! I love Annie Kate's cute freckles :)

michelle said...

This whole swim team thing is amazing to me Kristi! How I wish we had a neighborhood pool like that and a team my kids could participate in! Your girls learned so much, about swimming, about being on a team, about themselves. And I loved all of your photos! The whole thing is just amazing.