Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I guess swim season is over. And I should probably mention how things worked out.

If you spend any time following my Instagram pics you already know the good news: Cooper won the 50 yard Breaststroke at championships. 

Yeah and high fives all around. 

Can we all just think back to Cooper's first year in swim team? Remember when his coaches picked him to be the 3D recipient? That was cool. I was so shocked by the award that I didn't even see him get it. I was in the back chit-chatting with my friends. 

Fast forward to this year. Final banquet and Cooper is up front collecting all kinds of medals and ribbons. Undefeated season in breaststroke, all-star swimmer, the list goes on. He has become such a great athlete. Then the coaches start recognizing high-point winners and I kinda checked out. You got it, I was chit-chatting in the back again. 

Then they announce the 3D -- a trophy that has gotten harder to win because now they only give it to 1 girl and 1 boy, not each 1 in each age group -- and they start to describe a very determined young man. One who went to every practice, and one who they know trains when he's on vacation, too. They talked about his willingness to swim up with the 11-12s and help out the older boys. They shared how he sets goals. And then they said Cooper's name! This time I got a picture (after I gasped with utter surprise). 

It's fun for Coop to earn a medal for swimming fast. But as the parent, hearing your child recognized for their work ethic is amazing. 

Swim team has changed our lives. I look forward to spending my summer with swim team friends who feel like family. Being in this program has been like being adopted into a family. It's not just my kid I like to cheer for. I feel so happy for so many of those athletes, and so grateful for the older athletes who have set such an extraordinary example for my Cooop. Now, we look to competitive tryouts and year-round schedules. But we will return to the Wahoos every summer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Wrap Up, For Tomorrow We Go To School

No summer wrap-up would be complete without explaining the growth I have seen in my youngest, quietest boy. I spend entire afternoons thinking to myself what it is like to be him in our world. Not the world like the planet. But our home and the atmosphere the four of us create. 

He is a special star in our orbiting system of chaos. By him I guide many of my decisions. Because he is not loud and he does not complain I wonder if he suffers. And then sometimes he does something that rocks us back to our heels. 

One such day happened in the blaze of too much sunshine in the middle of the fabulous holiday we call summer break. In fact, it was July and we were enjoying our carefully planned family vacation to one of Colorado's small, beautiful towns. Atop a mountain sits the  Glenwood Springs Adventure Park. My husband researched this trip and this particular day. He was certain that our boys would love the roller coasters, an alpine slide, the zip line, the "swing". 

I was pretty sure that Cooper would, and that Mason and I would sit on the sidelines taking pictures. But I really do try not to control everything. Really. 

We started the morning with all the Amish, who were also visiting the park, on a gondola ride from the base to the top of the mountain. The gondola had Mason grasping for safe ledges to hang on to. I worried that this was a pretty clear sign that he had no interest in riding the roller coaster and began silently to devise plan B.

First, we went on a cave tour. As luck would have it, the cave tour drops tourists out on a ledge looking down into the canyon and at the most terrifying ride of the park. Down below us we could see what the tour guide described as a 210-degree swing on the edge of a cliff that could pull more Gs than most astronauts experience in training. I thought to myself, "Honey bunches of no, this girl ain't got time for that." 

That's exactly when our family started walking toward the swing. Hubby nonchalantly asked, "Who's ready for the swing?" Mason shrugged his shoulders and said, "I'll do it." 


If you could only know the details of the past year. Of the trials. Of the fears. All the crying and failed attempts at courageous feats. 

Not going to lie, I just started crying. I frankly thought it was too much for a child to do. I wouldn't do it. Way too scary. Cooper and Mason marched up to the ride attendant, got themselves strapped in, and off they went. 

Well, after that both boys raced to the roller coaster -- touted as being at higher altitude than any other. A few times on that and they decided it was time for the alpine slide, the zip line, the [insert yawn] laser tag. Everything, they tried everything. 

I learned: today could be the day. We try and we try. We learn a little. We fail a lot. We get beat. Come in second. Whatever. But one day, it is the day. The day we win. The day we can. The day that courage comes to play.