one month ago, i wrote that we were almost done with swimming - sectional finals were that night, maybe state ... we were close to a break.
we had sectional finals. henry was sitting in a great spot going into the meet. and then right before warm-ups, he was in the bathroom and a teammate kicked the stall door in ... literally onto henry's head. a one-plus-inch bleeding gash in the top of his head. when the coach finds you and says, "have you talked to henry? i don't think he needs stitches, but you might want to check on him ...", you know it isn't good.
we got the bleeding to stop, but he was off his game for the meet. while his individual events suffered, he brought it when it came time for the relays.
he helped his teams place fourth in one relay and second in the other, earning spots at state the following weekend.
so another week of swimming later, we went to state. and to make it more fun, it was the same weekend that harper swam at the minnesota regional championships. and my parents came up so they could cheer on both kids. we watched five different meets over three days. it was amazing.
(that was sarcasm.)
but actually, it WAS amazing, because the kids did an awesome job. henry got bumped from one of the relays so four seniors could swim it, which felt right even though it was a bummer. (and henry used that free time to provide comic relief. as always.)
but he kept his spot in the 400 free relay, and they placed fifth in the state.
and harper swam seven events in two days, and dropped time in all but one.
but wait!! there's more!!
henry had gotten so close to a junior nationals cut time in three events (he actally HAD gotten the times, but in relays, so they didn't count) that he jumped back to club swimming to ALSO swim MRCs the day after state ended, time trialing to see if he could get the cut in any of the events. he ended up .3 seconds away in the 50, and .2 away in the 100. close, but not enough.
which meant the following weekend we went back to the pool at the university of minnesota so he could swim at senior state to try and get those cuts. and on saturday, he got one: 48.25 in the 100 free ... .3 faster than the needed time.
he was beyond thrilled and so proud of himself. which, he should have been. he wanted it, and he made it happen.
but that meant that on saturday afternoon, we had to make plane tickets and a hotel room in florida happen, because junior nationals would start three days later.
sunday was a quick shopping trip, when we realized henry had no shorts that fit, monday was laundry, and tuesday ...
well, tuesday was harper's 11th birthday.
we had breakfast, then henry and i headed to the airport. (and i felt just awful. how do you pick one kid's event over another? ugh. unwinnable choice, right there.)
for the next five days, henry swam in four individual events (the one he made the time for, and three bonus events) and five relays at junior nationals. which is crazy. he's been swimming less than five years, and he made it to junior nationals. that felt like kind of a big deal. we were down there with 12 other kids, the coaches, a few of the parents, and it was a really fun experience.
the 15-16 boys relays placed fourth in one relay, and fifth in another, which i thought was a pretty great way to walk out of the meet. and henry is already focused on getting more cuts for more events next year. the kid has goals, now, and he's focused.
which means he's growing up. and that's both weird and exciting.
the past two weeks have been pool-free, which lasts until ... well ... monday.
and then off we go again.