I am lucky enough to live in Amherst, Massachusetts where I have the opportunity to train under the tutelage of UMASS coaches Russ Yarworth and Bob Newbomb. Yes, even adult swimmers still have things to learn and ways to refine our swimming practice!
As a result of those relationships, my son has had some incredible babysitters. Okay, so I fully take advantage of my personal relationships to find childcare. Doesn’t every parent?
This summer, both my son and I are honoring the amazing Paralympian Mike Prout, AKA my kid’s former babysitter.
One summer, while my husband and I both worked, Mike would ride his bike to our house each day. Within seconds, my son would attack him, jumping on his back in his excitement to see him.
Immediately, my son would beg me to leave because he and Mike had things to do. And there was nothing he wouldn’t do with my son. Skateboarding? Check. Bike Riding? Check? Riding a scooter to go play soccer or frisbee at the park? Yup.
Did my son notice that often Mike did things just a little differently than he did? Absolutely. But it was matter of fact for him, not something that was especially notable. And besides, Mike could kick Mommy’s butt in the pool any old day.
And now, yup, he’s in London, representing us for the 3rd time as Team Captain of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming contingent in London.
Oh, um, did I mention that as U.S. Paralympic Team Captain he got to give Barack Obama a tour of the U.S. Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs? (via)
Here’s Mike in full Team USA uniform in London. (Mike, sorry about that beret. What were they thinking?)
As far as my son and I are concerned, the most valuable things he has taught us both are about doing your best, working hard, and being yourself. And Mike–We are wishing you SO MUCH LUCK! No matter what happens in London, you’re our Olympic hero!