Friday, June 28, 2013

The Swim Meet Chronicles - Almost the Finale

Our last regular meet . . .

I'll start this dramatic tale with an unexpected turn of events  . . . no one had a doctor's appointment yesterday. We could have enjoyed a leisurely afternoon, calmly packing this and that, making our list and checking it twice.

But where's the fun in that?

Tim's glasses  were positively flattened at camp and needed some attention. What better time to handle that than the afternoon of the swim meet?

Off to Penney's we went. We love Cynthia, the optical assistant at Penney's. We think of her as a friend. She knows our many and varied tales of glasses meeting tragic ends. She is kind and very, very fast.

Cynthia was off yesterday.

Because she knew it was swim meet day.

Her replacement, well, he was nice, too, but I've rarely seen anyone in less of a rush. So the process of declaring the current glasses a total write-off and ordering a new pair, a process that takes about two minutes, forty-two seconds with Cynthia, took about thirty minutes with this fella.

The good news? The new pair will cost me a mere $16.00. Thank you, cheap insurance plan that has paid for itself ten times over!

We zipped home, and here's where the story enters its tailspin.

We had a brief window in which to get our affairs in order for the swim meet -- the key word being brief -- and I arrived home to find the house a huge mess, the little people eating Captain Crunch on the couch, and the person in charge watching The Santa Clause, no swimsuit, towel, or goggles in sight. 

Is there an emoticon for a mother snatching herself bald-headed? Please insert it here.

While I was dealing with this child, I noticed a second one of my offspring had gone missing. Turns out he went outside for a relaxing jaunt around the neighborhood . . . minutes before we were supposed to walk out the door. Swimsuit, towel, goggles? Nowhere to be seen.

Then  I discovered the stopped up toilet -- a toilet my neighbors will one day see on my front lawn where I will be charging kids a dollar for the thrill of taking a sledge hammer to it. After persistent work on my part, I began to suspect another plastic tree or a second scrub brush had taken a nostalgic swim down those oh-too-familiar pipes. I threw the plunger in despair and returned to bark a few more orders the way of my older children.

I grabbed a few snacks out of the fridge only to discover the food from last night's dinner -- food that I had clearly stated needed to put away -- had indeed been put away if by put away I meant crammed into the refrigerator with no cover, no wrap, no foil covering it. No, no, my definition of put away is Store  in a reasonable fashion because -- Who knows?-- we might just get a wild hair and actually decide to Eat! It! which is precisely why we put it away in the first place!

My tirade may or may not have included some of those very words, and it may or may not have been so loud the pipes rattled and the toilet cleared.

Not my finest hour, nor theirs.

Anyway . . . We eventually got in the car.


And the sky looked ominous, so ominous I decided to take an alternate route. And it rained and rained and rained and cars were pulling over. And we saw lightning, very impressive lightning.

And we prayed.

And I begged my kids' forgiveness because if one of those towering pine trees had fallen over and taken me out, I didn't want my last words to be an over-the-top screed on the merits of Saran Wrap.
No new pictures -- I was a timer again.
We arrived safely, and, in the midst of the storm, probably nobody even noticed we were late. We waded through the parking lot.

For perspective, Kris, a faithful reader, pointed out that Atlanta has had more rain in the first six months of 2013 than in all of 2012 (and I'm betting the lion's share has fallen in June). And we're not really complaining too, too much because rain is a hassle, but drought is destructive and depressing.

After a sixty minute delay or so during which Ainsley attempted to eat every last bite of snack food without consuming a single morsel
of protein, the meet started.

And, as I've said before, it's really fun. We cheer and laugh and chat.

The highlights of the meet were watching our Godson who is a first year swimmer and very, very good and watching the older boys shave huge chunks off their personal bests. Their form is night and day different from four weeks ago.

John's relay was a bit pokey and earned third place. And then John swam his sprint which could hardly be called a sprint. He got just past the halfway mark and decided to hang out on the rope and take in the sights as hundreds of people yelled,"Go! Go!" He ambled toward the finish (if you can amble in a pool). He paused about two feet from the wall and waited about four seconds before actually touching and stopping the clock.

A personal slowest for John. He went from fifth place last week to sixteenth place this week.

At 9:30, with heat lightening appearing on and off and more clouds rolling in, they called the meet. There was great rejoicing.

"Isn't it ironic," I said to a group of friends praying for a quick end, "that we pay good money for our kids to do something we hope gets cancelled?"

As we unloaded gear and a sleeping child, John looked at me and said, "Mama, I want medicine." He woke up with an aching throat and a fever of 102. This may explain his performance last night.

So there you have the finale that turns out not to be the finale . . . We have a division championship Saturday. It's indoors, so come rain, come shine, we'll be swimming.


christinelaennec said...

We too have a wonderful optician, and we'll be very sorry to have to leave her behind when we move.

I do hope John is feeling much better very soon.

And that things get a wee bit easier for you, Kelly!

Kris said...

I just love these posts! We had our county swim finals this weekend, so we're done for the season. Also indoors! Two of my boys made it to the finals - one in a relay and one in both the IM and the fly. The individual event placer has NEVER made it to the finals - only the top 20 get in and he's ALWAYS an also-ran with a 21st or 22nd place finish. So much excitement this weekend! And I laughed so hard at your statement about paying for sports and then hoping they get cancelled. My husband and I say that to each other ALL.THE.TIME! Usually involving something along the lines of "I won't cry if the soccer game gets rained out on Saturday morning!"

Kelly Dolin said...

Christine - John is better. He had a rough week. It wasn't the usual 24 bug. WE all benefited from a weekend of doing nearly nothing.

Kris - Nice to know I'm not the only one! This is where basketball is different - no rain outs. Great job on your boys! John was probably close to all-stars, but none of our guys made it. I am thrilled with the strong swimmers they've become and happy with the nice friends both they and I have made.

Kris said...

Yes - they all play basketball, too. But somehow, I don't mind that one so much. Soccer in the hot or the cold makes me cringe. I like my outdoor sporting weather to be perfect....! :)