Today was the official end of an era. Our family is done - DONE! - with all the mandatory swim/sailing tests at our pool. Josephine passed her sailing swim test - the last water test she will ever have to endure.
Oh Happy Day!
Do you happen to remember that at our pool, swimmers & sailors have to take their water proficiency tests during adult swims and therefore, have to preform said tests in front of a rapt audience of their peers?
The swimming (deep water tests) are relatively quick and painless, but the sailing test has more opportunities for embarrassment and Josie was not looking forward to the whole endeavor.
First of all, you have to dress like a boy.
And that is not easy for Miss I Love Pink.
And more importantly, Josie has never been thrilled about taking tests while her older siblings' friends are watching and cackling from the sidelines.
I couldn't change the dress code, but I could out-smart the whole audience component. Josie, Georgia and I rushed to the pool right after school (our school gets out 20 minutes earlier than some of the other schools in our town) and Josie raced into the changing room while I went over to ask the life guard if he would mind missing his 15 minute break to give Josie her test.
There was literally no one at the pool. Our plan was working.
Exactly ten minutes after we arrived, the life guard blew his whistle which signaled Adult Swim (to us, since we were the only people there).
Josie adjusted the buttons on her button-down shirt and pulled on her water shoes.
Georgia gave her a few pointers and I told her not worry if she didn't pass this time around. Lots of people have to take this test more than once, including her brother Henry, who, granted, had to take his test in the pool before the heater was installed and therefore, could hardly be blamed for stopping mid-exam when he could no longer feel his legs.
Oh the drama!
I was hoping that we wouldn't have to do a second test for Josie, though. The thought of being done - DONE! - with all these tests made me way too excited for words. I don't have children who take these things lightly, and I don't exactly crave stress and looming deadlines hanging over my head during my summer.
And now the moment was upon us. Josie slipped into the water and swam her first lap. She did not complain about her clothes being heavy like Georgia did during her test two years ago. She did not seem unduly phased by the entire thing. We were still the only people at the pool.
Once both laps were finished, Josie had to remove all her clothes/shoes and then tread water for 5 minutes. Once the embarrassing scramble to remove shirts and pants while treading water in the deep end was over, Josie didn't mind that people were now arriving and coming over to see what was going on.
Minute three. The end was in sight.
Minute Five: Success!
I couldn't be more pleased. I'm so giddy to be finished, that I'm passing along our family's sailing test clothes to Josie's sailing partner, Dorothy. So far four children have had the benefit of our lining-less pants, loose-button-holed shirt and too-big swim shoes. Henry, Georgia, Caroline (Dorothy's sister --- hey! I bet that's the first time older-sister Caroline has ever been described as DOROTHY's sister. ha!) and Josie have all worn the outfit with success.
Congratulations, Josie! You're now ready for sailing!