You think that when summer finally arrives you can slow the pace down and just relax by the pool with a cool drink and a good book, right?
Since the past school year has finished there’s been vacation bible school, home remodeling updates and summer swim league…. oh my.
Vacation bible school is so rewarding but when you’re in the midst of it, it’s exhausting. It’s a fast paced week where just when you truly get to know the kids and get your schedule down pat, it’s over.
And whoever came up with the old adage that opposites attract was right and I’m so thankful for a husband that is nothing like me because I need the order and left brain capabilities that he brings to the marriage. But have you ever tried to pick out new tile with your complete opposite?
And then there’s summer swim league, which I have a love / hate relationship with.
What my kids learn from being on the swim team? love it.
Spending three hours a day at an hour long practice for each child? hate it.
Swim meets where you get to see your kids truly grow and push themselves? love it.
Swim meets that you have to be at by 6:30am, rain (mud) or shine? hate it.
and the list could go on… but I’ll stop there.
And so heading into this weekend I was really looking forward to the uneventful winding down of summer swim league at the last swim meet of the year.
Then we were going to cap that off with a Father’s Day celebration which did not involved the continued search for new tile. It was going to be dreamy and somewhat relaxing, I could feel it in my bones.
My bones were sorta kinda wrong.
So we set our alarms for an hour that should not be available on alarms on a Saturday and headed toward the swim meet.
We did get to see the sunrise over Lake Houston.
But then we put our fitbits to work, lugging all of our swim team gear from the parking lot to what seemed to be several miles through a school to the staging area. Every event during the swim meet we would have to trek back from the staging area, pass the parking lot and to the pool. The plan to relax and read between events faded more and more with every step to the pool and from the pool.
However the meet was going really well for our kids and team. Every one of our kids swam the fastest they have all year in every event, with our oldest qualifying for an invitational meet that she had been hoping to make.
It seemed like the summer swim league year might just go off without a bang – until it didn’t.
Our middle child stepped up on the starting block for her very last race of this year’s summer league. She jumped into the water and pulled up on the block for the start of her race, the 25 yard backstroke. She raced down the pool, swimming so well and we were so excited to see her leading her heat. She got to the second set of flags, signifying to the swimmers on their backs that they were close to the wall and yet she kept going, faster and faster…. and faster….. head first into the wall.
Her head hit the wall at her top speed and then the rest of her body followed, crumpling up like an accordion. This wasn’t a first for her or us. It happens to even the best swimmers at times but it can be alarming. We raced down to meet her as another parent helped her out of the pool.
She was crying and holding her head but she didn’t pass out and wasn’t dizzy so we got her ice for her head and I walked back to the staging area with her while Mr. Byrd stayed behind to watch our oldest daughter’s last swim, the 50 yard backstroke.
She had a headache, which was expected, but we thought she would be better later in the day when some of the soreness subsided.
Instead she complained more of a worse headache. We stayed home the rest of the day, watching her and just trying to recover from the pure exhaustion we felt from all the walking we did, some in the extreme Texas heatwave that we had this weekend.
Then came Father’s Day.
She complained Sunday morning of a headache but thought that if we gave her Tylenol and got her outside of the house, to be distracted by her friends at church, it might help her feel better.
It was during our adult bible study that the other shoe landed.
For the past few weeks I’ve still been dealing with the grief from losing my grandfather, my hero. It’s not all the time but it’s coming in little waves such as the other day when I wanted to call him to ask him what I should do about the yellow cucumber plant leaves, before I remembered that it just wasn’t an option anymore. Other days I just miss him and just want to see the way little lines appeared around his eyes when he laughed on more time.
Grief is funny. It hits you sometimes when you just don’t expect it. And it happened to hit me during Sunday School when one of the guys in our class brought up that it might be a hard day for some that had lost a dad or important guy in their life that year. And it wasn’t until then that I remembered that I wouldn’t be calling my grandfather this year to wish him a happy father’s day. There wouldn’t be any more phone calls on birthdays or Veteran’s Day.
And just like I cried the other day over the yellow cucumber leaves that I didn’t know what to do with, I cried (during Sunday School) about that phone call that I wouldn’t get to make today.
I have amazing men in my life, Mr. Byrd, my father-in-law and dad mean the world to me. But Sunday I missed my grandfather even more.
After Sunday School we met up with our two oldest kids to go to service together and noticed that our middle child looked worse. Her eyes were huge and something was just off. Plus she was still complaining of a headache.
So instead of going to service, we headed home and then to the ER to get her checked out.
One moderately priced (ha! probably not!) cat scan later, she was diagnosed with a concussion and told to relax and take it easy for a few days with no sports or physically demanding activities for a few weeks.
The doctor did say that we could go to the pool if it was calm and relaxing, which means that we can’t go to the pool. It’s like she’s never seen kids at the pool before!
Finally, when the sun was much lower in the sky than when we went in, we headed home and gathered up Mr. Byrd and the rest of the family for a low key Father’s Day dinner.
But this weekend is finally over.
One more swim meet for our oldest and we’ll be done with summer swim league for this year.
And the first Father’s Day without my grandfather is behind me.
It was supposed to be an uneventful weekend, that somehow got just a little eventful.