When Eli started diving we were given very little information. We were told what time arrive and where to show up. I had the name of the coach and his email and phone number.
Night one arrived. An informational session was to be at the beginning for the parents and then the diving was to begin.
I looked around at a group of veteran parents and leaned in closer to listen, happy for once that I sat in the front row. Coach told the parents to sit back and be quiet. Our children were in his hands for the next hour and 15 minutes. Don’t be hard on the kids. Diving is a mental sport and if the kids get discouraged they will stop diving before they ever start.
Note to self… Time for me to sit down and shut up – something I don’t do well at all! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…
And I did.
Eli found a focus I never knew he had. He made friends with two boys who are right around his age and diving for the first time as well. He listened to his coach and followed his directions. My heart was swelling and I almost cried. I’m not actually sure how the dam held the tears from overflowing. My son was excited about something and was learning to be good at it.
Looking around I realized that the boys were very outnumbered. Three young boys, two high school boys and about a dozen girls. I realized that one day being a minority on this team of divers would make him very happy. I also took stock of what everyone was wearing. The high school boys were wearing Speedo briefs, one of the young boys was wearing everyday swim trunks and the other young boys was wearing what I now know to be called jammers. I am such a novice!
On the drive home I was asking Eli what he liked best about diving. He listed so many things I lost count. Then he said mom, I need new swim trunks. I told him I figured as much. He said but not the ones that make my butt cheeks hang out like the furry brothers (his reference to the 2 high school boys who were VERY furry from the waist down!). Mommy, I want the ones like W. has, the ones that come down to my knees.
So my honey went shopping and made out like a bandit finding a pair for $4. I have since learned that they are MUCH more expensive! So, thanks honey for your bargain shopping skillz!!!
We returned to practice for session #2. While Eli was changing after practice the coach shared his thanks for putting Eli in jammers. He really prefers them to trunks for diving. He then informed me that when Eli is ready for meets he will have to wear the briefs.
Now it was on me to tell my son that in order to dive in front of other people to be judged and possibly win medals and possibly, someday, make it to the Olympics, he has to let his butt cheeks hang out…
Oh. The. Shame…
And yet he took it all in stride. He loves this diving gig so much that he is willing to stand in front of a crowd of people wearing the least amount of clothing possible and concentrate enough to dive into a pool. That’s when I knew he was in this for the long haul.