Maria cried and cried last night when we got home from work. She had gone to Swim Team practice earlier in the day and hated every second of it.
Why? Because “she just hates it. She’s bored. She came in last and she just doesn’t enjoy practice.”
Let’s parse out those reasons. The first one I tend to not give much credence to because she’s got to learn to give reasons why she doesn’t want to do something. The second – she’s bored – I also have trouble with. Life can be boring, girl. We have spoiled you by engaging in activities all the time and this is what happens.
The third one made me think and review my decision. I don’t want her to hate going to practice everyday and I don’t want her to feel self conscious about her swimming. Right now, she just enjoys being in the water and playing around and jumping off the diving board. I don’t want to push her away from that by forcing her into a sport she doesn’t want to participate in at this time. But I balance that with my strong desire to have her learn swim strokes and be a better swimmer. I could care less about the meets and competition. So which one weighs out the other?
One girlfriend said that her daughter hated it too and she told her daughter she could give swimming up but she had to take up at least one sport. Her daughter chose tennis and loved it. I am warming up to that idea with the thought that I’d still make Ri take individual swim lessons this Summer.
I am still conflicted though. I played piano for four years when I was ages 7-11 but then I begged to not practice anymore. I can’t remember how long or intensely I begged, but my parents agreed to let me stop. Now I wish they would have “made” me continue practicing. But maybe I would have rebelled if they made me keep it up at age 11 and run away and met up with bad seeds and gotten into prostitution and been killed…. It’s always easier to look at things in the past and think “if only.”
So, my gut tells me to keep her on Swim Team for two weeks. If she still hates it, then she can choose another activity. I think Jon is on board with the plan, too. Mario just thinks Maria is crazy – who wouldn’t want to compete?!