So last night, I mentioned that G will be part of a year-round swimming club. You *might* recall some of the anxiety that came with watching her be a part of her first competitive swimming team this summer. So, yeah, it's totally natural that I would want to drag that kind of neuroses out for an ENTIRE year.
Once again, I blame this on not having played any sports as a child, which has somehow made me socially awkward in situations requiring either myself or my child to perform in an athletic setting. G, you are SOOOOO welcome for the lack of confidence that I am gifting to you! With a pretty polka-dot bow, thank-you-very-much. I DO NOT understand the learning curve associated with sports, particularly when we are talking about a 7-year-old. I worry that she's not getting it, not liking it, not focusing, not trying hard enough.
You know, I might as well carry a knife around the pool and drive a van without windows, because that is just CRAZY.
Particularly since G had to try-out for this team--not to be included, but to place her according to her ability--and she swam beautifully. Guess what? She listened this summer! And she (kind of) liked it. And she focused like an age-appropriate 7 year old. And she pushed herself across that entire pool effortlessly. Knives are unnecessary for motivation, apparently. They should tell you that when you check your baby out of the hospital.
G isn't really that interested in sports, but it's not an option. She has to be on some kind of team. It's good for her on so many levels, that you can just go ahead and research on the Internet, because I am sure they exist. But mostly, I am saving her from months of therapy as a mother when she realizes she is having a panic attack at her child's first day of t-ball, or whatever.
So we are committed! To a team that practices 3 times a week! At 7:15 p.m.! Bring it butterfly and flip turns and Speedos. We are in it, and we have worked through, like 1/16th of our issues when it comes to sports. I will watch and shut-up and read a People magazine and maybe take a Valium (or 3).
G tried out, got her placement in the "Developmental" group...and then I was handed, I kid you not, a packet of 200 papers. Registration, and ethics codes and more national registrations and practice schedules (on a SPREAD SHEET), and mandatory parent volunteer sign ups (????????). Whoa.
And in the middle of it all was the PRICING spreadsheet.
$1,300. And some change.
I mean, just to be clear, we're talking about swimming. Swimming. In a pool that already has water in it? Or are they planning to add a wing on to the Rec center and name it after us? Or possibly stud her suit in real diamonds (she would LOVE that). I theorized that they were maybe swimming in actual, liquid gold. $1,300???????? My dad was a college swimmer and I'm pretty sure he told me he grew up swimming in drainage ditches--right Dad? I see how that is neither safe nor even remotely possible that there was enough run-off water to float a child, but still.
If I had 2 children who would choose to be on a swimming team, that would equal $2,600???? And now, I totally understand how younger siblings get hosed. Not to worry kids, we'll squeeze the liquid gold out of G's suit after practice and in like 35 years, we'll have a money tub for you to swim in.
People who put their kids in sports--IS THIS HOW MUCH YOU PAY?????????
If you tell me no, that there are cheaper options, that there are starving children in Africa, that I should just buy a shark and put it in the pool with G and she'll learn to swim *real* fast, well, none of that is really true. I mean, children ARE starving in Africa. But in reality, a shark in a pool with G would end in disaster and not proper swim technique. And also, there are very few swimming programs out there for little kids, that teach them well. I have LOOKED. And LOOKED. This is kind of it because I think this program is a big hairy beast that ate all the cute little baby programs. And it is rather impressive, based on its Declaration of Rights and general laws, as outlined in our packet.
Because here's the other thing? At least I am only having to buy a team suit and a swim cap. There are no *special* shoes required for swimming (that i know of). But I can think of a million other sports where the gear is pricey too. Hockey? Football? Golf? Tennis? I'm guessing none of it is cheap.
How I can rationalize this: G will receive a college scholarship in swimming, therefore making it OKAY for me to utilize her college fund for lessons. So simple. And also, I am thinking of creating my own children's sport as a financial safety net. I am thinking of Little League Biathalon, because nothing says fun and safe like little kids on skis with guns.