Monday, November 8, 2010

Parental Duty

Occasionally, Parental Duty requires me to go watch one of my kids exercising their "gifts."  Tonight was one such occasion: watching Aidan at swim team practice.  The pool area is a stifling 83 degrees and I always seem to be wearing a sweater when I go.  Sigh.  Anyway, tonight I decided to speed the hour along by committing to memory the various other parents gathered there, so I could share them with you.  They are (in no particular order):

1.  Mrs. Overestimation of my Child's Abilities.  She was one of the first people I met when we joined the swim team.  That evening, she was fretting about the local high school cancelling their modified swim program.  For those of you not from NY, every school runs a modified version of each of their sports, allowing talented middle school students to train with and compete for the high school coaches.  Of course, she was concerned because where was her little darling 7th grader going to get any kind of decent workout?  Not here at the Y.  Oh, it's fine for SOME children, but her little man has real talent.  Maybe the high school will let him work out with the varsity swim team?  Sure they will.  And I'll bet they love it when they get a load of his work ethic.  Her little man manages to find about 80 different reasons, every evening, to get out of the pool and wander over to the bleachers.  The varsity team will love that.

2.  Mr. and Mrs. Parents of the Most Frail Child I've Ever Seen.  Not much to say here, other than to express the hope that there is never a draft in the pool area.  Their child will be blown away.

3.  Mrs. I am Totally Oblivious to the Fact That My Child is Obnoxious. She is near and dear to my heart because her son swims with Aidan's group. He is always the one in the pool when the coach has asked everyone to exit, is swimming freestyle when they've been asked to swim butterfly, and manages to "accidentally" fall in the water during team meetings. Curiously, mom never seems to notice.

Mr. I Think it is Still 1967. He has a lot of friends here in Ithaca. They were flower children in the 60's and have held on tenaciously to the wardrobe and the hairstyles.

Then, there's me.  Mrs. I am going to read this magazine and watch my child out of the corner of my eye and when he gets out of the pool and walks by I will look straight at him and give him a thumbs up for whatever he may have just finished doing, not that I would know because I've been reading a magazine and scoping out the other parents.  It makes him very happy.


  1. * It's nice that Aidan is swimming. Because when he is swimming, his head should be in the water, and he cannot see you reading your magazine (or scoping out the other parents). I imagine that the moment he knows that you are reading your magazine and not watching his every stroke, then you will know that he has not been concentrating as much as he could, which will definitely not help him get on the Varsity team. But at least he's not obnoxious.

  2. So glad to know there are other supportive enthusiastic mothers out there. I thought I was the odd ball when I tought my son how to tie his skates so he could go to practice at 6 am on his own. It was only a block away and there was no way I planned on sitting in a rink that was colder than the -30C outside :) Read on! Keep me posted on any new recipies you try for Thanksgiving