I spent 10 days in the Seattle area last week. I had two intentions for my trip. The first was to watch my daughter in the Pac-12 Championships. I grew up in the area, so I extended my trip to visit a few days with family and friends.
What I discovered at the meet was a bunch of new friends! As a group of parents, we really got into the team spirit. I enjoyed meeting parents for the first time, and renewing friendships with others.
We were more organized this year, my second, at conference. Parents stayed in the same hotel so we ate breakfast together and sat together in the stands. We met with pompoms and cheers to send our swimmers off for finals. Then we hung out for happy hour and got to know each other better. I was impressed that some traveled as far as New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, Finland and Norway!
A shout out to my dad, who flew up with us from So Cal to watch his grand-daughter swim. He drove from my brother’s house, an hour each day, alone to sit with us and support her. For the past 8 or so years that he moved from the Seattle area to the desert of Palm Springs, he’s been a regular fixture at all her club and high school meets. The officials had a chair saved for him in a spot no other grand parent or parent was allowed to sit. Thanks, Dad! He’s over 80 by the way. So thankful and proud to have his support.
Two friends from years’ past came to cheer for our daughter. That meant so much to us that they drove an hour to support her.
Then, after the meet, I stayed with another friend from college and it was so nice to catch up and see each other. After having been roommates with my two girlfriends, we have very easy, yet deep relationships. We may let years go by without a visit, but then the moment we’re together it’s as though we haven’t been apart a day.
I was so touched by my friends on this trip. I realize how important they are to me. I pledge to be a better friend and make more of an effort to visit, stay in touch and make dates to hang out.
I also sat back and watched my daughter as she makes life-long friendships on this team. She met up with club teammates from other Pac-12 schools, too.
Our lives are made brighter with friends.