Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Swim Season Come and Gone

I think 94% of my weekend was dedicated to swimming. I love the sport but am very glad the season is over; I think we all need a bit of a break before it resumes again in the Fall.

Saturday was Champs - the big Championship meet. Both kids swam great. The Girl took 2nd overall in back, fifth in fly and six in IM. She scored her team a ton of points in the process. I thought the real story of the day though was the Boy. He really rose to the occasion and took 9th overall in back and 16th in IM, scoring ten points for the team in the process. That's a really amazing accomplishment in my opinion for a kid who one year ago could not swim at all. His IM was really an amazing race. He ended up winning his heat, despite being in 5th place half way through. His team was going nuts cheering him on as was his grandparents. It's one of those moments where as a parent you almost cry, you are so happy for him. I will post a video later so you can see what I mean.

Unfortunately, their team lost by 27 points to Sleepy Hollow, the team we beat just last week. The Champs meet in a sense isn't a fair playing field as Sleepy Hollow has 86 more swimmers than us. Without getting too far into how scoring works, etc, to beat them requires some very difficult math. It's essentially a game of numbers. Anyway, it was a disappointing outcome but very dramatic and fun nonetheless.

On Sunday we had our awards banquet. The Girl ended up winning the Coaches Award for her age group and I am obviously super happy for her. Goes without saying that she's an amazing little swimmer and she can add this to her arsenal of hardware with pride.

But this year I was really holding out hope for the Little Boy. I *really* wanted to see him win Most Improved and though he didn't really say much, I knew he wanted it too. When the coach announced most improved for his age group all the kids began chanting "Zevan, Zevan" and I started filming what I thought was going to be a special moment. Alas, another kid's name was announced. That's sports for you - it has its fair share of ups and downs.

That said, I have to say, sometimes my heart just breaks for the Little Dude. I know life isn't all about awards and trophies and he has an amazing perspective about things, which I will get to, but ... man. Still.

Just once.

The net of it is I feel like he often gets left behind and ignored. Maybe it's because he's a smaller, quiet-ish dude. Baseball being a case in point; in my opinion, he should have made the all-star team this year. Several less worthy kids made it - and everyone in town knows he can play the game well. But he didn't. Might just as much my fault for not getting involved in the political part of it, which is a rant for another day.

So I help out hope that he'd get some recognition in the pool instead. And not as a gift mind you - I thought he really deserved it. He worked his butt off all year and the results showed it. But alas, it wasn't to be. I was watching when they announced the award and I could see his face sink for a second but here's what I love so much about him - he picked his head up, smiled and was truly first one to pat the other kid on the back and congratulate him.

When we chatted later I told him a was disappointed for him, but that life was very karmic and his time would come. He told me not to worry about it, that the other kid was awesome and more deserving and while disappointed, he was very happy for him.  But his lips quivered a little as he said it; I could tell he was still disappointed and putting on a bit of a brave front.

But it was those words - and that genuine attitude - which makes him such an awesome, awesome kid.

And no trophy could possibly have made me prouder than the grace he showed under disappointment.

It reminded me of what sportsmanship is really all about. 

You're the man in my book, Little Dude.


Anonymous said...

ZEVAN, ZEVAN, ZEVAN. In the eyes of the Berlent family, Zevan truly is #1! Can't wait to see you all in August!


amy said...

Zevan! Reminds me of another Grom I know... these boys will rule the world one day. Or at least, make it better for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

this post was the main reason you can't quit this blog. Well-written, very endearing and also exciting to hear what the little man is up to. Great post, HS.