As mothers, we often sign up for crap we don’t want to do.
Last week this phenomenon showed up in my life in the form of an out-of-town, two-day swim meet. If you’re a swim parent you know that this means waking up early, driving across the state, carving out 14 inches of space on a cold, metal bleacher and listening to hundreds of people, young and old, screaming their heads off inside an echo chamber known as an indoor pool.
Sounds amazing, right?
Despite the inevitable pain I knew I would experience, I willingly offered to take my daughter anyway because swimming is her jam – it brings her more joy than winning the economics fair at school, getting a brand-new loft bed, or stealing Halloween candy off her little brother and not getting caught. Layla spent years searching high and low for her “thing” and we have a basement full of guitars, lacrosse sticks, drama t-shirts, and slime supplies to show for it.
If I had my way, I’d be a card-carrying member of a club in my neighborhood lovingly know as DAST – Dads against swim team. But, alas, it’s not my place to determine what floats my daughter’s boat. And I know all too well that one of the greatest influences on inner peace is your ability to not argue with “what is” in your life. In other words, to go with the flow.
So, away we went to Warrenton, Virginia – literally in the middle of nowhere.
Rather than staying in an ordinary Holiday Inn that you can find in any city, we elected to stay in a gorgeous B&B (for the same price!) which was a first for both of us. James, the innkeeper, took good care of us and the weekend went exactly as I expected. I knew what to expect because I study the lives of mothers for a living and I’ve conducted extensive research into the highs and lows of a mother’s day. The chart below represents the average frequency and intensity of passion vs. pain that’s felt in a mother’s life during any given 24 hours – regardless of whether you’re rich or poor, bottle-feeding or breastfeeding, urban or suburban, married or divorced, working outside or inside of the home.
Are you seeing what I’m seeing? That’s right, there are more lows than highs in our lives and that includes during swim team getaway weekends. So yes, the bleachers were hard, the other parents were super screamy, and there was no cell service or Wi-Fi inside the facility (can you imagine?!) I was expecting many of these annoyances and I dealt with them accordingly – mostly by drowning everything out with earplugs and a good audiobook.
But, and this is a big but, I also expected that throughout the weekend that several unexpected highs would also occur, and while less frequent, they would inevitably be more pronounced and therefore more memorable.
Thank Goodness. Continue Reading