This Saturday my family might take part in a ritual we have done very spring for 11 years: one of us (me or my husband) will get up at an ungodly hour, head over to Sports Basement (it used to be a neighbor's garage) and hang out for hours until the store opens—and we sign up for swim team.
We have been part of the Woodlands Swim Team since we moved here. And I say "we" because unlike many sports, the entire family has to be involved. Mainly because the parents sign up for a variety of somewhat thankless jobs to make the summer swim meets run smoothly.
I say "might" because we are on the fence about joining this year. My oldest is now 19, too old to swim; my middle boy wants to concentrate on football and "get a job." My youngest doesn't really care—he tends to go with the flow.
But I'm tired. Sometimes a parent's role is more strenuous than the 100-yard butterfly. I wouldn't mind having a summer to do what we wanted, like make impulsive decisions to head to Tahoe or Santa Cruz for the weekend. My kids won't grumble about getting up early on summer mornings. And I won't have to serve another cup of noodles ever again.
I want a break. We parents live through our kids' activities, which is why I have been glad none of my kids wanted to join a competitive soccer program. Despite Jennifer Wake's great article today about such competitive teams, I can't help but feel that it's an awful lot of work, and eats up family time.
But if the kids like it, then by extension so will I.
So I'm waiting for one of my kids to express a keen interest in swim team this year, and so far, no one has. And I have to remember that it's about them, not me.
I only drive the van.