Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pride

Subtitle: More braggin' on my kids

I know my daughter isn't the first kid on the planet to win a blue ribbon at a horse show. And Aidan isn't the first kid to improve his times at a swim meet.

But, to me, it feels as if they are.

I guess all parents feel that way. They are the first kids on MY planet to do so!

Bridget had her final show of the Summer Nights series at Hidden Lake on Friday. It's a four-show series, and we skipped the first show due to the tough times she'd had with horses and lessons. Shows #2 and #3 were huge successes with 3 and 4 first-place wins, respectively.

Last night? Not so much, but I don't mind a few "life lessons" on the road to victory. It was just proof to Bridget that not every day can be YOUR day. Especially in a sport where the outcome is subjective. There are several little girls from a barn in Oklahoma that have competed against Bridget throughout the series and for example, last week NONE of them placed well at all. Didn't even get the 2nd place ribbons. THIS week, they ALL did well, and Bridget got 2nds and 4ths. Different judge, different results.

She was a little mopey about it, but knew she'd done her best, so not too depressed. She even told me that I wasn't allowed to take any photographs. Guess if it isn't a BLUE ribbon, it's not worth documenting?

But, in the end, she had her victory. Her two good weeks garnered her enough points to be named the "Series Champion" at her level, and came with a choice of pretty nice prizes. She wisely chose a new pair of boots.


Took her to the local tack shop today to get the boots. Ray and I had spent considerable time teasing Bridget that we would enter and loudly proclaim "We're here to collect the SERIES CHAMPION prize for BRIDGET GLYNN!" She almost didn't want to go for fear of embarrassment. The tack shop was hosting a fundraiser for paralympic dressage rider, Lynn Seidemann while we were there. What a neat and gracious lady! She let Bridget try on her silver medal from the Athens games, talked to her about fear and how to overcome it, and autographed one of her show ribbons.

This is Bridget wearing Lynn's
silver medal from the Athens

games
















Bridget and her "barn buddies" (hi! Kirsten & Jillian!) pose with Lynn Seideman who signed their show ribbons







So, all in all, with the tough times, the wins and losses, it's been a pretty good month for Bridget.



On to The Boy.

Man, oh man, that boy-child of mine makes my heart sing sometimes. Today was one of those days.

Let me back up a bit an explain the swimming calendar. There are two "seasons." Short course season (25 yard pools) is in the winter and finishes in March. This is GOOD for Aidan because his birthday is right after short-course ends. Add to that, the fact that there are 2-year age groups in swimming. 9-10, 11-12, etc. This spring, he finished his short course season as an "old" 10 yr old (the eve of his 10th birthday), and so finished champs with a whole slew of top place medals.


Then he turns 11. And long course (50 meter) season begins, competing against 12 yr olds.


We talked a LOT about what a demoralizing season this would be, and how he needed to use this training time to build, and expand. Do distances he never did before, swim strokes he didn't like. All because he was pretty much going to be at the back of the pack anyway, so why not.


Like Bridget with her riding, there were a lot of tears. Threats to quit. Negotiations about skipping practices. Loss of confidence.


Today was one of those days I can draw on and say, "Remember that meet in Mansfield? How you made all your goals and picked up some new BB times, even in events you hadn't swam ever? Remember how it made you feel?"

Gawd, I hope he remembers how he felt. I sure remember it.

He swam 4 events, and dearly needed to pick up 2 BB times to qualify for champs. It's his last opportunity, he'll miss the next due to being at Boy Scout Camp.


I could take you through it, race by race, but suffice it to say, he picked up three BB times, and even one in a distance event which he'd never done before. He improved his times in every event, which is a rare thing for any swimmer.


The final race of the day, 50 meter free, I was almost willing to let him scratch, just to get home early. He already had a BB time in this event, had 3 successful swims under his belt, was killed by the 200 back, and I'd been there for 4 hours, sweating in the stands.


Then the seeding sheet was posted. Two kids he's been chasing all season, Cole and Aaron, were coincidentally placed in the lanes on either side of him. Out of 85 kids from a dozen teams, his buddies are seeded next to him. These are nice kids. We carpool with them. I love their mommies. But I wanted my kid to beat their kids in the worst way. Me? Competitive? Ha!


Aidan's best time in this event is 35:47. His goal for the meet was 35. That boy of mine beat both those kids by pretty much a body length and turned in a 34:18. It was a thing of beauty. Sorry, Cole, sorry Aaron - you both swam so hard! I promise not to gloat, and so does Aidan. It was fun to see the three of you racing together (how often does that happen?), and somebody had to win.





Yes, I'm proud. Yes, I'm bragging. I know they're not extraordinary (well, maybe a little, sometimes?), but they're mine, and I see how hard they work and the fears and obstacles they overcome, their perseverance, their heart.

THAT's what makes me proud.

.








1 comment:

michelle said...

oh....i think you have every right to brag! I am so proud of you guys! Way to go!!! Keep sharing...I love love love it!