Peanut Butter Pro Bars make a horrible Swim Team Snack & Where are my Goggles: Hope is Stronger than Fear

“Mom, you are so difficult sometimes.” Kyle said after taking a very deep breath and then earnestly tried to explain why a Peanut Butter Pro Bar is a lame pre Swim Team snack.

I think Kyle’s comment was in response to me saying something like, “Kyle, if you are going to ask for something, just ask, don’t get all whiny about it.”

And of course because we were in the car and I was driving my two sons to swim team practice, our snack discussion was obviously preceded by another emergent and catastrophic situation. Yes, seconds before Kyle told me how much his snack sucked, Eli nearly lost his mind, “MOM, MOM!”

“Yes, Eli, I hear you!”

“Mom, I CANNOT WEAR KYLE’S EXTRA GOGGLES! THEY HAVE DARK LENSES AND I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE!”

“You can’t miss swimming, buddy. What should we do then?”

I am sure you have already guessed that Eli’s outburst was a result of our initial where-the-hell-are-your-goggles-Eli conversation. Before the missing-goggles panic set in, I could tell Eli was thinking and thinking hard.

As we picked Kyle up from the bus stop Eli blurted, “Aah, wait. Mom, I don’t have goggles! I lost them. I cannot swim without goggles.”

I knew he was feeling bad for waiting until now to remind me that he had no goggles. I also knew about the missing goggles and also forgot. Nevertheless, it was Swim Team Game Day and the boys were really excited. “Mom, I need goggles.” Eli continued as I foraged through Kyle’s swim bag looking for an extra pair. I did find an extra pair, however, due to the fact that Kyle thought he could take said extra pair home after last week’s practice (he found them in the locker room and finders keepers, right?). I will say no more. Ok. I will say more. Once we arrived at practice Kyle walked the extra, recently “found” pair of goggles inside and we left them on the coach’s desk. No one was there to put them in lost and found.

Back in the car and while still on our way I could tell that Eli could not think and I tried to help or not help by asking him, “Why didn’t you get them from the pool when you were with Dad?”

“DA-AD WAS NOT THERE WHEN I REMEMBERED! Mom, Mom!” (He said Mom, Mom just like this, “Mahh [insert quick and annoyed breath here] ahhom, Mahhhom,” and said it in such a way implying that obviously somehow with my great mom super powers I MUST CONTROL THE UNIVERSE! And because I control the universe, I, Beth Rodgers Adams, lost my son’s goggles. I was not there when the goggles were lost, but, yes, it was me who lost them anyway.

I suggested a resolution and knew we could run into Wal-Mart on the way, for a pair of goggles, if we had to. The cool thing about Eli is after I drove into the Wal-Mart parking (something I would only do in case of a “real” Emergency), I asked him if I could buy him a pair of goggles and after he said, “MOM! REALLY? REALLY? I CAN JUST BORROW SOME! MOM!” (I confess I think I have instilled my People-of-Wal-Mart Fear in my sons). Anyway and because I am so off topic, Eli, well, Eli regrouped and was a champ.

Moments before learning how lame Peanut Butter Pro Bars are, I asked Eli to re-phrase his questions. I gave him a few ideas, suggested that instead of completely freaking out, all he needed to do is tell me about his goggles and then ask for help. SIT DOWN! Really! Sit down! Eli did just that. In a matter of seconds, maybe mili-seconds, he calmed himself down and warmly said, “Mom, I lost my goggles. I don’t have any to wear today. Will you help me get another pair?” [insert my misty eyes here]

After having the privilege of watching and then listening to Eli get his business (shit) together, I want you to know that every second on this Earth has been worth it. Eli rocks and I could not have been prouder. He ended up borrowing a pair of goggles (or I think he did). When I walked in the pool area to see how the boys were doing, I found Eli asking every single kid, “Hey, do you have a pair of goggles I can borrow?” He also promised me that if he could not borrow a pair, he would deal with it and wear Kyle’s dark lens goggles.

It gets better. As Kyle and I walked into swimming, he also regrouped. “So Kyle what would make a good snack?”

“Mom, I like fresh things like fruit, yogurt or maybe some raisins.”

“Anything else?”

“Oh yeah, carrots and brocoli. That would be really good.”

“Carrots and broccoli? Kyle, you are every parent’s dream!”

Amazing! There is hope! My boys show me hope every single day. And in those moments where they are really mad or really afraid of being “less than” because they lost their goggles or won’t have enough energy to swim, they always pull it together.

Epilogue:

Oh yes and because we love the Hunger Games Book Trilogy and to celebrate the Hunger Games record-breaking Box Office Opening Weekend, I was determined to introduce the Hunger Games into a post so why not this one? Alas, I did. As a family we saw the Hunger Games movie this past weekend and absolutely LOVED it. I have to say, evil President Snow is right, “Hope is the only thing more powerful than fear.” Believe me I have been thinking about that phrase ever since I heard it. And driving to swim team I thought, “If we can get through this (hope) instead of worrying about not being able to see while we are swmimming (fear), we will be ok.” We were. I think it is also cool to mention that Dave, Eli & I finished reading the last Hunger Games Book, “Mockingjay”, less than twenty-four hours before seeing the movie. Pretty cool! (Kyle finished the series long ago, of course).

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