Monday, July 21, 2008

End-of-season banquet

Are any kid sports banquets as elaborate as the summer swim team's? My kids played basketball, baseball, and soccer, and about the most we ever did was go out to a fast food eatery. But the swim team end-of-season event includes speeches, awards of all sorts, and a slide show. (One year we had a play complete with scenery, but that was admittedly a bit over the top.) We even had a banquet in the Old Days. I remember at least one or two occasions where Glenwood celebrated a season well swum at that famous Wheaton former eatery, Anchor Inn.

Last night our team banquet was particularly poignant, since it was my last. Some of it I won't miss--the predictable lack of air conditioning at the school, the somewhat less than elegant ambiance, the very hard benches. But the slide show is always a highlight, and I'd been anticipating this year's with both dread and delight, particularly the portion that celebrates the graduating seniors. (An aside here--back when I did the slide show, it was indeed composed of slides. Technology has come to all aspects of swimming, and now the season retrospective is produced on a computer.)

Since I'm the mother of our only graduating senior and had provided some of the slides, I had an inkling of the content and had wisely brought along some tissues. Watching my baby grow up before my eyes in the few minutes of the senior tribute evoked quite the pangs of nostalgia. (And who were those old people standing next to him in that one shot? Surely not his parents!)

What other team can our kids join at age 5 or 6 and stay on, year after year, until they're 18? What other team can all the kids in a family join at the same time--boys and girls, young and old. (One year I was the mom of an entire graduated freestyle relay team.)

I think I'll like getting my Saturday mornings back, but I know I'll miss the fun and excitement of summer swimming--lathering that sunscreen on, seeing my sons swim, watching the little 8 & unders attempt the butterfly, chatting with parents I see only in the summers, but whom I have seen summer after summer for over a decade.

I won't be leaving MCSL swimming--I have another year as president and we usually don't kick the past presidents off the board immediately. But I also suspect I'll be strolling over to Rockshire from time to time to watch a home meet and see my summer pals.

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