Jun 29, 2012

Damage Control

I am reading two books right now.  (Because, no, the skin in my bikini area has not returned, and no,with temps. above 100 degrees, I am unable to sit poolside with partial skin) One of the books is the last in the Fifty Shades trilogy.  I am reading this one very slowly as I don't want this one to end.  The other book, comes by way of recommendation, called, "The Tender Bar."  When she suggested it, she prefaced the book with, "If you like memoirs, you will love it, but you will cry throughout."  I saw Roxanne this morning, and she asked how it was.  I had to sheepishly tell her I was enjoying it, but my tear ducts are dry.  She quickly told me I was damaged, and to that, I smiled, knowing how wise she is, knowing that she knows me such a short time.  Aren't we all though?

That's why I like to read memoirs.  I like autobiographies.  Biographies-not so much.  I want to hear it from the person.  I want to capture each person's nuance into their story, their lifes' story.  I don't get into sci-fi, mysteries, vampires, dragons, wizards, romance (leave me alone about my Fifty Shades), nor do history, science, or religious writings intrigue me.  I mostly like the "Tuesdays with Morrie," "Angela's Ashes", all the Dave Pelzer books, and the like.  Many years ago, like middle school age, I read autobiographies by Louie Anderson.  Seemed so tragically sad, yet, I don't remember much of it other than he had uncontrollable giggle/cry fits while getting a massage once.  The touch.

Well, we have been touched by so many unbelievable people in our community.  Our family is truly being raised by a village.  I learn to parent, befriend, comfort, and most of all, love, through watching those around us as they are serving us.  This morning, we had our final award ceremony for the swim team season.  Our coach is the only coach that sets aside time each Friday morning after the Thursday night meets to let the kids play in the water, have junk food, and get their ribbons from the night before.       I love her.  The kids love her.  But appearantly, there is one family that had issue with her, and that one family might just ruin the next generation of swimmers because of their own issues.  Our coach felt like she damaged, or hurt a child in some way.

She is a tough coach, by six year old standards.  The mom made a complaint about her, and so the coach feels like she would be best to step down from the position next season, and therefore, leaving the spot to most likely be filled by another coach, who we all know and love.  However, I can tell you this much... My daughter, not really a swimmer, developed her stroke and skills by 200% under the direction of our coach, and I am saddened to think that other children might not have that opportunity.  Our coach is tough, but when you care as much as she does, and makes swimmers out of them, you have to be.  Sometimes you can't be nice.  Sometimes the easiest way is not the safest or best route.  As a mom, I am grateful that my childrens' first experience was with her.  As a YMCA member, I am secure knowing that she cares enough about childrens' abilities to push them, and to love them afterwards.  It was never about winning or losing.  The color of the ribbon and doing their best.  That's all that mattered.

I will pray for her direction, and trust that G-d will guide her, and give her the burning bush answer she needs to know what he wants of her in the coming swim team season.  As for the offended family- I will pray that they learn from their personal experience, and that maybe, one day, they can help our coach learn to forgive herself and accept that right or wrong, she did whatever offense it was, in true human form.  She is not perfect, and to be confronted with your imperfection through the eyes of a child must be the worst feeling in the world.  However, I believe she will grow and help others through this experience.  Everything for a reason.....  You might be damaged, and the child might be damaged, but you have to take these experiences and learn from them.

I was on the Rocky Mountain Elementary School's fifth grade jump rope team.  Fancy, I know.  However, I have the scariest child/adult interaction with the vice principal of the school that year, because of it.  I tried out, hoping so much to get on the team.  My brother was on the team the first year it started.  I don't know that they traveled with it, but I remember that I heard we would be performing at many events if we made it on the team.  We did a college basketball halftime show, a couple of school events, etc.  Our coach, the vice principle of the school, was a well liked adult.  He was smiley, joked around with the kids in the lunch room and halls, and was known for his special after school program, the jump rope team.  We had uniforms, blue and white.  Even our jump ropes where that color.  They were punishingly painful if you got hit with them, those two toned plastic numbers.  We jumped to a musically choreographed routine.  We practiced after school.  Mr. Scott got angry when we messed up, didn't pay attention, goofed around, or were late.  Lucky for me, I was an on time type of chick, even back then.  I didn't mess around much either, as I was really excited that I had been given one of the few spots on the team that year.  I remembered exactly where I was supposed to be, and was a skilled jumper, and even got to do tricks that included me doing a front handspring into a jumping routine with my whip, I mean, jump rope.  Darn, I think the damage those hard beaded jump ropes caused will take a few more therapy sessions.  One day, I had as much of Mr. Scott's temper during practice that I wanted to tolerate.  The last event for us was a mere week away, and I just couldn't handle watching him get mad at the boys antics, or the girls giggles, or the child who was late every practice.  It took the joy out of the experience for me, so, without even telling my parents, I just told Mr. Scott that I was done, and would not be returning.  I'll never forget it.  He smiled, and told me I was a quitter.  He had this very sinister look, and honestly, I was so proud that I stuck to my guns.  That week, he stood behind me in the cafeteria once, and had this nasty look, and again, asked if I was a quitter.  Yep, I was, and more sure of it every moment he behaved like this.  He was furious.  Mostly because, we had a very organized routine, and changing it the last week of the team would really be difficult.  I was graduating from the fifth grade, and my elementary school within a few weeks of this event, and that was the only way I could tolerate seeing his nasty smile for the remainder of that year.

While he was tough, he was good at what he did.  But did he hurt a child? Yes.  Did he know he was hurting a child that would grow up and feel that biting look boring in on her each time she choses to quit something for the rest of her life, probably not.  However, I had to use that experience with Shayna, during swim team this past month.  She wanted to quit.  She was overwhelmed by the swim meets and not being in total control of the chaos that is a swim meet.  She was uncomfortable not knowing where and what Charlie was doing, and when it came to line up, she needed to know what lane she was going into, what event, what heat, and exactly who would be at the other end of the pool to take her safely back to the  bullpen.  While I tried to prep her each time, I was unable to since I was always volunteering, but never in the bullpen.  The one thing I kept telling her was, "This might be a bit overwhelming to you this year, but next year you can decide if it is something you want to do again.  You begged me to sign you up.  You can't let the team down, or yourself.  You have to finish this, because you started it."  It was the greatest gift I gave my daughter this year.  She ended up loving it, learning to grow with this experience.  She wants to sign up again next year.  IF she does, I can guarantee her this- she will finish what she starts.  That is what I can thank Mr. Scott for.  I will never let another team down.  And now, neither will she.

PS  The spell check on blogger is not working.  My personal spell checker, AKA Geoff, is at work, therefore, I apologize for any mizsppellld words.  grin

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