I discovered lap swimming when I was eighteen. With the help of many high school swim-teamers I even became a fairly proficient swimmer. My joy of swimming rubbed off on my daughter. By the time she was seven years old I could no longer deny her pleading to join me in my morning swims. The little fish had no trouble going back and forth across the pool, but her little seven-year-old arms weren’t as fast as me no matter how hard she tried. So I was always the lead swimmer in whatever lane we ended up sharing.
At eight years old she decided it was time to turn into a proper teenager. She didn’t like me trying to fix her technique anymore, so I found an age group swim team for her to join. I continued to lap, but I was on my own again while my daughter began honing her skills through the help of coaches.
More than eight years has passed since we last swam together. And the last four years, since our last move, I haven’t been able to get in the water much with the sparse time available to lappers at our local city pool. But during the Thanksgiving holiday, my daughter kept begging me to go and workout with her. Of course I had brought my swimsuit, so I really didn’t have an excuse not to.
At the pool, she hopped in the water with the biggest grin. “I get to go first, because I’m faster than you now.”
I laughed. “At sixteen? You better be, or you’re a very sad high school swimmer, indeed.”
Oh how she crowed after our eight-lap warm-up. “I can’t believe how slow you’ve gotten. I almost lapped you.”
But I got the last laugh. I picked the next sets we would be doing for our workout. “Six one-hundreds, rotating between freestyle and breaststroke.”
Her jaw dropped. “Mom!”
“What?” I grinned. “You better make your freestyle fast, or I just might be lapping you every time we get to breaststroke.”
That’s the great thing about being the mom–you know all you’re children’s weaknesses. Breaststroke is the only stroke she has never been able to find any speed with. And lucky me, it’s the stroke that came the most naturally of all. And this momma is not above fighting dirty, though I must admit I was super proud to experience her growth first hand. Even if it meant she left me eating her bubbles most of the time.