H’s swimming is coming along marvellously, she almost has her silver swimming award a term after getting her bronze. This is great and she’s full of confidence.
So much so that she has put her name forward to represent her school at a swimming gala.
Which is great, by the way.
But now I have horrible flashbacks to the one time I did it. You see, she has never dived in a pool – and she won’t have the opportunity beforehand. It’s fine, she’ll start in the pool… just like I did. I finished miles behind everyone else. I don’t know what I felt, I don’t know if I felt sad or if I saw my mum and dad cheering me along. I can’t remember, all I remember is I came last.
You don’t re-live your child’s life through yourself, I know. However, I can’t help but be taken back there. On the plus side she’s doing backstroke so they’ll all stay in the pool for that one. But for breast stroke and front crawl she’ll be pushing off the edge. Oh how I hope there are others and she isn’t the only one like I was.
We’re at that funny stage where the slightest thing will create an oversensitive reaction. I was told off earlier as I hurt her feelings (she took her plimsolls off without undoing the laces and I pointed out she wouldn’t be getting any more new shoes and would have to make do – important stuff, see?).
So I have this feeling of dread. But also of pride that she wants to do it.
Eight year olds are complex little things. Not quite big girls but definitely not little girls. Wanting their independence but not doing everything independently. Getting to the stage where they don’t want to hold their mum’s hand but still call them mummy. But still need mummy when things don’t go right.
So my played out in my head scenario is that she does her first race, comes last and is heartbroken because she hasn’t won, bursts into tears at the edge of the pool and that’s it, we have to take her home.
I know it won’t be like that but it doesn’t help my bloody head. Watching her doing her testing for her silver tonight, my heart was pounding so much, I wanted her to pass so badly. She almost did were it not for unfortunate circumstances. She has another chance next week as they weren’t her fault. She can do it and I think she will do it. I’ll be cheering her on from the side.
So why can’t I be as positive as that about the bloody gala? Why do I have to make it about my failings rather than celebrating her achievements? Or maybe I just did.