John and I loaded up my Hyundai Santa Fe and left Belton, Texas, just a little over eight weeks ago to move to Little Rock. People keep asking me questions like, “Aren’t you glad to be back with Paul?” While I agree that being back with Paul is great, I also left our 18-year old daughter behind, never mind friends that John and I made over the past six and a half years. The past eight weeks and one day have left me in a constant state of ambivalence. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I hate being so far away from Catherine. We talk on the phone almost every day and we’ve Skyped a few times, but it’s not the same. One friend and I cried on the phone about her dog because he used to come to my house for doggy day care and play with Josie and curl up in my lap when I was at home.
John starts school on Tuesday, and fortunately we had some time between swim seasons to take a trip to Texas this week. We met one of his friends and her dad in Arlington on Monday and spent the day at Six Flags Tuesday. On Wednesday we drove to Belton, and John got to spend the night with another friend. I got to spend the night with Cindy and my favorite poodle. I also got to visit with a few friends, hang out with Catherine, and eat at one of my favorite Mexican food restaurants. John spent most of Wednesday with another friend, and then we spent the night in Waco with my sister and brother-in-law. On Friday, we hit the road again – this time to Coppell, Texas for a scrapbooking retreat with cousins, aunts, and my mom.
Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, I feel rejuvenated, like I can move forward when we get back to Little Rock later today. I just needed to come back and get that personal connection with Catherine and friends. I still miss them, but I’m ready to face a new school year and new routine with a better attitude.
We have been in Arkansas seven weeks now. In swim time, that would be three swim meets, at least 17 events, and 80+ hours of practice. I’m not complaining. In fact, I love being a swim mom, mainly because John enjoys swimming so much. He has been setting goals for himself since he started swimming nearly two years ago, and I have been excited to see him meet his goals and set even higher standards.
John has never been one to watch sports on TV or in person. While many kids his age can quote team or individual statistics in basketball, football, and baseball (the big three), John has never paid much attention. I would dare say his own mother knows more about football and basketball than he does. John has played soccer, tee ball, and basketball, and up until he started swimming, liked playing basketball the best. He would much rather play a sport than watch it, except baseball. He hates baseball – watching it and playing it.
Fast-forward to the London 2012 Olympics, and the kid has become obsessed not only with watching the swimmers compete but knowing the world record times for all the events along with trivia about swimmers from other countries. He knows the lingo and why swimmers wear two caps. He can tell you in which event and what year Michael Phelps’ goggles filled up with water. He can spout off when records have been set for events, not only in the world, but in Texas, Arkansas, and for the Little Rock Dolphin-Lasers, his current swim team. He also knows the qualifying times for 13-14 year old zone championships and sectionals.
I am amazed how a non-sports fan like John has turned into an Olympic-watching, swimming statistics junkie. His ultimate goals are to swim at the University of Texas in college and to qualify for the Olympics and haul in a few medals. Whether he swims a few more months or several more years, I’ll enjoy the ride.