1. If your kid wants to join swim team, know your entire family is signing up. Monday through Friday you will be lugging kids, towels, goggles, sunscreen, and vans full of kids to the pool. Your weekends are now about all day swim meets.
2. Wet swimsuits, towels, and empty bottles of sunscreen will be on every floor of your house for the next two months. Not the goggles, though. The goggles won’t be in your house or anywhere you can find them. Your kids will forget their goggles in the car, at the pool, and on the sidewalk walking to the pool. This will not be awesome.
3. Younger siblings will spend hours at swim practices and meets. At first you’ll scoff at the moms who hand these little kids their cell phones. You will smugly hands yours a workbook.
For a few days, at least.
But after your second week by the pool, you will realize the stupid workbook is soggy from all the splashing. Poolside is the place for Nintendo. By week four, your little one could enter a Nintendo DS championship. Which is great because this is what the swimmers do at the meets.
4. Even after all the practices, you will not be prepared for the strangeness of a swim meet. The swimmers sit in tents for hours, waiting for their races. These tents become kid villages. Among the sea of tanned bodies are lots of entertainment (video games and Rainbow Looms) and an entire Costco of snacks.
5. You will learn you can never bring enough snacks for your swimmer. Yes, you will bring coolers filled with blueberries, grapes, strawberries, and GoGurt. You will pack their lunchboxes with Doritos, string cheese, and PB&J. You will buy them cheeseburgers from the concession stand and sno-cones. At the end of the meet, your swimmer will STILL claim they’re starving.
6. At the swim meet, you will suddenly realize why the races are called heats. This is because four hundred bodies are gathered on concrete. You soon discover body heat, sunshine, and humidity turn poolside concrete into a blazing oven.
7. When another parent tells you the swim meet lasts seven hours, you will be shocked. You will be appalled when you do the math and realize your kid will be competing for one minute and sitting around for six hours and fifty-nine minutes. But for that one minute when they’re racing, you will kind of embarrass yourself screaming their name. Especially when you realize they cannot hear anything.
8. Even though you will wish for the end of swim season, wish for the end of wet towels, lost goggles, and hours poolside in the sweltering heat, you will be surprisingly sad when it’s all over.
Until next year, when your kid announces they want to join swim team…..