Tuesday was Climber's first ever swimming carnival, and I went along as a parent helper, which involved shepherding the kids as they walked to the pool, and reminding them every 5 minutes to put their hats and shirts back on. (It was quite surprising how often we had to say it.)
The kids have to be in Grade 4 or above, and able to swim 50 metres, to volunteer for the school swimming carnival. When the PE teacher first announced it to Climber's class and asked who wanted to participate, Climber refused, on the grounds that he didn't think he could cope with it being competitive - chiefly, I suspect, because he knows he's the sort of kid who desperately minds (and could easily cry) if he does badly, and obviously nobody wants that sort of shame or misery. In complete ignorance of this, I read the announcement in the school newsletter and got all enthusiastic, because I know he's quite a good swimmer, and in my head school swimming carnivals were a fun day out. I was therefore very surprised when he said he wasn't going to do it; the result of which was him having a little breakdown, because then he felt dreadful about letting me down. But we talked it through - several times - and agreed that (a) he was a good swimmer and ought to give it a go and (b) it would be impossible to disappoint me, even if he fell in at the start of the race and had to be pulled out with a net.
On the day he made me burst with pride. He made the finals of all the events he tried (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke), even though he was competing against boys who were generally 8-14 months older than him. And he got 4th place in the backstroke final, which gave him the all-important and much coveted ribbon. Then he got 3rd in the diving, and another ribbon. He was happy, I was over the moon. I'm pretty sure I was also the most embarrassing parent at the event, actually standing at the end of the pool yelling Go Climber while the other parents sat more sedately in their chairs to cheer.
But with any luck they won't ban me from coming next year.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
8 hours ago