Crying into my goggles today made me think of Amanda Beard’s autobiography title: “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry.” Not that I’ve read it, but the title is true.
I cried today for my kids. When dropping Big Kid off at swim practice, I was truly struck by his lack of enthusiasm to get out of the car and go. He told me he is so far behind everyone; so much slower. Ducky drags through practice, coming in last, when she used to battle for first.
It breaks my heart. These children with so much potential are now literally creating drag through the water. Their self esteem is deflated; peers that they used to be equal or faster to now pass them up. Their little hearts, lungs and muscles are no longer conditioned; they sit on the verge of being like over 30% of American children: overweight and out of shape.
Last night it upset me; today it made me cry. I was crying because they have given up. Their dad has “won” because they are closer to quitting than they are to staying in the sport. They didn’t have a fair chance to say the sport was or was not for them. They will go through their pre-teen years as overweight (they have each put on a good 20lbs. this summer) and out of shape, hating PE and physical activity. Because it will be hard. The longer they are out of shape the harder it will be for them.
I, in a futile attempt, sent STBX an email hoping to reason even a little with him. I know, it’s a desperate attempt, since he, as a Narcissist, will NEVER see this from the kids’ perspective. But I had to try. I told him how it was affecting their self esteem to not go. And how he gets his “lukewarm” reception when he quizzes the kids about swimming because they are OUT OF SHAPE. I’m sure it will fall on blind eyes.
Big Kid told me I need to communicate with STBX about this because that’s what his dad told him to say to me. I wanted to scream “IT DOES NO GOOD” and “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DAD IS SETTING UP YOU FOR???” Of course I didn’t. I dropped him off at the pool, and started sobbing.
I made it to the pool, and had not pulled myself together, but I went in and got in the water. Crying in my goggles — all the underwater tears pooling at the bottom rims. Slogged my way through only 2,000 yards. I had finally stopped crying by the time I got out, but was exhausted not from the physical exertion but from the emotional.
Went to go pick up Big Kid. He was in a much better frame of mind and calmer. Some of the benefits of the water and exercise.
Wish it had the same affect on me today. I’m still crying over it. But they are no longer underwater tears; they are tears of sadness. Sadness for my children and their missed opportunities.