Following Through

It’s been a long summer, y’all.

Yes, I realize it’s not exactly over, but since we are on week 3 of school and the schools around here are starting in a week and a half, there is something of a farewell feel in the air.

And then there are the farewells themselves, of course, but that’s for another night.

Tonight was the last night of swim lessons for the summer for my little guy Cooter.  This is his third summer of taking lessons.  He enjoys his time in the water, and since his sister made the swim team at the end of last summer’s lessons, he’s had his eye guardedly on the prize.

Guardedly as in he wanted it but he didn’t want anyone to know he wanted it.  *sigh* Only eight years old and already worried about how he’s being perceived.  I’m not even sure what to do with that.

So he took lessons.  All summer.

This round Cooter was finally able to swim his twenty-five freestyle and twenty-five backstroke.  Without stopping.  He’s had moments before this summer when he was just about able to, but he wasn’t consistent.  And this week he was.  I saw a smile on his face and a light in his eyes that had been missing–he was back on his game.  And I was thankful.

Still, I didn’t want him to get his hopes up. There will be another round of lessons in a few weeks, and I figured one more round would do the trick.  Help him build up his stamina and be more consistent in his strokes.

Then last night he did really well.  That smile though, y’all.  He knew it.

Last night I saw this on one of my favorite Facebook pages–Sweatpants and Coffee.  Nanea Hoffman is a very wise woman.  The two words jumped out at me.  Follow through.

via https://www.facebook.com/SweatpantsAndCoffee?fref=photo
via https://www.facebook.com/SweatpantsAndCoffee?fref=photo


That’s what I wanted for my little guy.  For him to follow through.  Follow through on his strokes.  On his practice.  On his focus, his mindset.  On respecting his coaches.  And on his dream.  Follow through on making it happen.  With hard work and lots of practice.

So we talked.  I don’t know how much sank in, but we talked about how he might feel if he wasn’t invited to try out for swim team this time around.  How he might feel and what our game plan would be–which had a lot to do with practicing and continuing to work hard towards his goal.

But following through.

And with a good attitude.

Because, in the words of my Mama, this is “all for the fun of it.”

Tonight when lessons ended under a cloudy sky leftover from the earlier storms, with rain threatening to fall on all of us, the coaches gathered up all the children and their families.  They handed out certificates to all the students and added a check mark for those who had completed the lessons and were ready to try out for the team.

Cooter’s teacher went last.  She handed out two certificates and then said she had two who were ready to try out.  Oh my heart.  Cooter looked around and I could see the wheels turning in his head.  There were only two others in the class, and he was one of them.  With a look of wonderment mixed with joy on his face, he turned to the teacher and walked up to get his certificate.

Well done, little man, well done.

Tonight I’m thankful for the words of Nanea Hoffman that gave me what I needed to tell my son that no matter what, if this was something he wanted, he needed to continue to follow through.  Right to the end.  Which is now a new beginning.  I give thanks for young people who dedicate their time, energy, compassion, and encouragement into making swimming a good experience for these little ones. (When one of his coaches from last summer and the first of this one came up and high fived him, I was undone–love these teachers!) And yes, I’m even thankful that swim lessons are over for the summer, and that, in a few weeks, after a lot of practice between now and then, we will have another swim team member in the house.  Most of all, I give thanks for the joy that spread through all of our hearts tonight–we did this as a family, and that is priceless.  From his oldest sister videoing the awarding of certificates “just in case” to his middle sister whom you can hear in the background squealing “I knew it, I told y’all he would get it, I knew it!” to us proud parents, holding our breath, hoping for the best but ready to catch him if it didn’t happen…..family.

Let today be a day of following through.  On anything.  But something.  You can do it.

Love to all.

Cooter making his way down the lane encouraged by his swim coach/teacher.

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