Skylar swam in her 1st swim meet with her Special Olympics team this past Saturday. I was so nervous as I had no idea what to expect. Even though she practices each week with her team, I wasn’t sure how she would do when we were at the actual meet. I prayed fervently for her to just enjoy herself!
Shortly after we arrived, I snapped this picture of her next to the pool. I could hear her talking to herself realized she was repeating the things that her coaches and I have been telling her the past few months:
“Don’t come off your back until you’ve touched the wall!”
“Make sure you don’t push off the lane line!”
At this moment, more than anything, I wished that “Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!” would have been one of the phrases she kept repeating. You see, in all of my nervousness and hoping that she would have a legal stroke and finish the race strong, I forgot to impart to her the most important advice of all: Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!
As her teammates began to arrive, I could see that she was relaxing a bit more. Getting excited for the day. She was excited when they passed out her team t-shirts.
Shortly before the meet began, one of her coaches walked over and Skylar blurted out “I’m going to FAIL!” I held my breath as I waited for her coach’s response.
“You aren’t going to fail! You are going to do great!” (Thank you Coach Patty!)
Skylar was so quiet while waiting for her event. I stayed close, but tried not to hover (I’m really working on that!). She did a great job following the instructions of the group that was helping get them all lined up. I did manage to capture a bit of a smile right before she got into the water.
And then it was time! Into the water she went.
Her first event was the 25M Freestyle. I can’t even begin to describe to you the improvement we have seen in this stroke the past 4 months.
And you better believe that we screamed like fools!
As she reached for the wall, I said to Chris “I can’t believe it! She’s going to get 2nd place! How awesome is that?”
And then, when I didn’t think I could be any more emotional, I saw Coach Patty. She was clapping, encouraging her, giving her high-fives, and congratulating her on a great swim!
Skylar got out of the water, huge smile on her face and went right back to the staging area where she got ready for her next swim. She only had a matter of minutes between events and I was wondering how she would do with that little rest, but she did great! She swam the 25M Backstroke, which is actually her favorite stroke. She struggled with the sun being in her eyes so she was all over the lane, but thankfully everyone else had the same problem. I’m pretty sure she swam the entire race with her eyes closed! And believe it or not, she came in 2nd place again!
She got out of the water and said “Mom, I think I’m done swimming for the day. Can we go back to the timeshare?” I laughed and told her we had to wait for the awards ceremony. Right about that time, one of the workers walked by and said that they were having pizza delivered for the swimmers right after the meet. Skylar whipped her head around and said “Excuse me! Did you just say pizza? Mom! We are totally staying!”
As Skylar waited for her name to be called out during the awards ceremony, she had a little smirk on her face. She fought back a huge smile. You could tell that she was really proud of herself! As she should be!
So proud of our girl!
And Skylar’s favorite part of the day? You guessed it!
Thanks for celebrating our girl with us! We think she is all kinds of awesome!
Make it great!
This is heart warming!!! I’m crying reading it. In so happy and proud of her. I can hear your proud voice as I read your words. I love the way you love!!!
Sent from my iPhone
As the Kendall family from California is grieving the loss of our daughter, sister and aunt we are searching for happy memories of her life in Prescott. Patty spoke so warmly of her coaching position with SNAP swim team. She was blessed to share her love and aquatic skills with her swimmers. Thank you for this lovely glimpse into Patty’s life.