The holiday rush reminds me of the true dedication both swim parents and swimmers show to the sport.
If you ever think swim meets are a bit crazy – you’re not alone. Maybe you’ll be inspired by my take on a classic holiday poem.
Twas The Night Before Swim Meets
‘Twas the night before swim meets, and without a doubt,
Every swim family knows what these are about.
They’re somewhat of an unusual thing,
About which it’s unclear if you scream or you sing.
But I’m here to tell you that swimming is awesome –
Swimmer’s will agree if you come across ‘em.
So lend me your ear while I embelish events
Of what happens before swim meets at my residence.
On the night before swim meets in the Kiefer house,
Pasta was gobbled by hungry young mouths.
The swim bags were filled ’til they were almost poppin’,
In hopes that no precious gear would be forgotten.
The swimmers packed homework – and of course a few books
They’d pretend to be reading when their parents looked.
And also some candy, hidden way at the bottom,
Below the game system that their grandma bought ‘em.
Ginger and River were snug in their beds,
While visions of meet records fell in their heads.
And Stacey in her house coat and me in my briefs,
Exhausted from shopping, in much need of sleep.
When from our garage there arose such a din,
As if 20 buffaloes had just broken in!
I sprung from my bed with an old tennis racket –
If there was an intruder, it was my job to whack it.
I ran to the door of our faithful car port,
Where old swim fins and mischief are known to cavort.
I threw open the portal, and what did I see?
The 12 year old Kiefer red Ford S.U.V.
It seems that the tires had finally exploded-
Miles driven to swim practice left them eroded.
But I’ve seen much worse – this is hardly a mess.
I’ve cleaned out the car after a swim practice.
And what does it matter? I don’t need that much sleep.
I’ll have plenty of time to do that at the meet.
And the kids have me quite used to very late nights,
Doing post-practice homework by dim candlelight.
And when I get weary from the swim team shuffle,
I head down to the pool with my packed swim duffel.
Rediscovering the fun of good times in the pool,
Swimming hard when the kids watch to try and look cool.
I’ll knock out some yardage with pull and kicks sets
And peer over a few lanes at the small silhouettes
Of Ginger and River, working hard on their strokes,
The true love of swimming passed down from their folks.
And it makes it all worth it, the long days and nights,
Whining and pre-practice “don’t wanna go” fights.
I emerge from the pool with a broad smile that’s brimming.
At the end of the day my friends – nothing beats swimming!
When you’re packing for swim meets and it’s down to the line,
And you’re looking for a few good ways to save time,
Remember the words that my wife Stacey said,
“They’ll remember their swimsuits if they wear them to bed.”
Happy Holidays – here’s to more swim craziness in 2014!
– Ginger, River, Robin, and Stacey Kiefer