Our first full week of summer kicked off today. I was looking at the calendar last night and it sunk in how short summers are for kids these days. I remember getting out of school the week of Memorial Day most years and not going back until the day after Labor Day. A full three months to waste in swimming pools, on dusty Little League fields, in the backs on un-air conditioned cars, and watching bad reruns on TV. Trade offs…
The girls go full-bore into swimming this week. M. and C. only had one real practice last week before Friday’s time trials to determine the A and B teams for their age group. It was funny to watch them both jump in the water and quickly look to the lanes on either side of them to see how to do the breaststroke or butterfly. And then they pretty much did a modified freestyle anyway. They weren’t alone. There are a lot of kids who are already swimming year-round, but most of the kids are pretty limited in their knowledge of strokes. C. is fast, but wildly inefficient. M. isn’t as fast, and her technique isn’t great, but she holds it together better than C.. It will be fun to see if/how they grasp learning to do more than just stay afloat and propel yourself this summer.
L.’s group is basically glorified swimming lessons, although they still get to race in meets. In her time trial Friday she was in a lane where there was a ladder about 10 feet before the finish line. When she swam back and breaststroke, she swam to the ladder and popped right out of the pool. The coach who was swimming with her just shrugged her shoulders. I ran over the second time and let her know to swim all the way to the rope. She gave me a look like I was crazy.
Perhaps my favorite thing about swim team right now, though, is just watching L.. She’s missing her top two front teeth. She’s wearing a swim cap and goggles. When she’s done with a lap she leaps out of the water, mouth open to breath, and looks around to make sure everyone witnessed her brilL.nce. She looks like some kind of alien.
Their first meet is this Thursday. Should be fun.
Last Tuesday was Field Day at St. P’s. The kids were out-of-uniform and expected to bring a change of clothes as there were water games involved in the fun. Monday night, as we were helping the girls get their gear together, M. loudly protested putting her extra clothes in a plastic grocery bag and insisted that she use one of S.’s Athleta bags. When I suggested she knock it off and not act like a spoiled brat, she spat back at me, “It’s tacky to use a grocery bag!”
Jesus. We are in trouble.
In the interest of burying the lede, L. has apparently taught herself to read. Last week she picked up a book and started reading large chunks of it to me. She wasn’t always right, but she was often in the ballpark. And she insisted on plowing through it without any help from me. Since then she’s been pointing out more words that she knows to me. Then last night, as we sat down to knock out the library summer reading program’s 20 daily minutes, she read three books to me. Now most of these were simple books that she’s heard many times. So she could be working from memory as much as reading. But when the pattern of the words would change, she always caught the new words.
I remember the first time both M. and C. read a book to me on their own. In each case it was deep into their kindergarten years, after much practice and effort. And now here’s L. doing it before she even hits kindergarten and without us working with her at all.