Where do I even start? My once water-loving swimmer boy turned into a fraidy-cat-I-won't-do-it boy. Shock doesn't even begin to put a word to what I was feeling. What happened that made him cry in the pool and get out of the pool sobbing, "I am not doing swim team anymore." Now if Ryan had done that, no biggie. I get that. I wouldn't expect anything else from Ryan, but from Charlie?
After he ran, yes ran, away from me and the pool to go hide in the corner, I fearfully followed him. The look on his face told me he was very upset and this would be an ordeal for both of us to work through. The look on his face coupled with his grunts and fast movements made my mind shutterfly back to him as a 4-year-old that was out of control with his emotions and anger. We worked through a couple of years of anger management issues and thought that we had made some real progress as mother and son. This was it...had our hard work paid off? Was he going to be able to put words to his emotions and tell me how he was feeling, or were we in for a several hour misery fest?
After about 40 minutes of him behind my chair, pacing and watching the other swimmers, he was ready to talk it out. In previous years I would have been more persistent with him to talk to me and figure it out right away. It was embarrassing, but I was doing what I could to ignore that fact.
What it came down to was two separate issues. First he dove in with a vengeance after not swimming in a pool since last summer and assumed he would be just as good as he was last year. Did I mention in was only about 70 degrees? He "lost his breath" and couldn't get it back but had to swim to the other side. He panicked. Losing his breath paired with not living up to his personal expectations of how he would swim right away, spelled disaster.
The good news...he talked it over with me and told me how he was feeling instead of screaming, yelling and going berserk. While he did not rejoin his team that day for practice, he did get in the pool and swam a bit to remember what it felt like and to remind himself that he could swim well.
He plans on giving his all at practice today. I'm anxiously anticipating it.