It's been fun: yesterday Elder, his friend, Younger and I hit the car at 8:45 to drive to Westbrook for the older boys' swim meet. It was an easy, fast drive down, and a gorgeous day, so having to wait for Mom to show up (she got lost, which surprised me: I'm not sure if she's getting worse about following directions or if I'm getting better, as we both looked at the posted web directions but she didn't follow them!) in the sun and nice warm breeze was a pleasure! We had plenty of time for a nice lunch--thanks, Mom!--and then a return to find that the events were an hour behind those printed in the schedule: not sure how that happened, but other than that, things went well. Elder swam very well, dropping time in both his events, and was a little more outgoing to us, coming over to chat and even waving from the blocks. THAT is a welcome change, even though I decided to go to this meet for myself rather than for him.
It amazes me how the parents tell me, "Prepare to lose any life of your own if your kid swims!" I had a good conversation about that with Elder's friend's mom, who was feeling guilty that her son was hitching a ride with us since they had company coming, and I said that I was doing "my turn" and it was great! I just think that having Elder fall in love with swimming shouldn't mean that the rest of the family loses every weekend and spends hundreds of dollars on food and hotels so we can follow him around New England (and into Canada. More on that later!). We will pay his freight, yes, and help out when we can, but I think he's fine with us not being at every meet (in fact, I know he's fine with it. He has TOLD me he's fine with it!)--and we DO have two children, one of whom is, understandably, not entranced by sitting in humid, dark pool galleries to watch his brother in the water for 1.08 minutes. So I am fascinated/horrified by this very American/21st century/kid-centered phenomenon of "The Swim Family" (often, of course, the swim MOM, just like the soccer mom or the lacrosse mom): while my desire to pull our own weight/raise our own child mandates that we do play a role, my equally strong sense that we are a family which has four members, not one, mandates that we keep everyone's interests and needs in mind.
But Younger and I had a nice day, ending up our trip to southern Maine with a nice stop at Target and then dinner at Applebee's (I usually aim for non-chain restaurants, but I was hungry enough to eat my own elbow, and there it was. . .), and he kept saying, "I had such a nice day!" Not a bad outcome. Today we have church and then a trip to Stonington to see "Midsummer Night's Dream," if we can get the tickets figured out (website issues). What a whirlwind of cultcha and sport!