Thursday, April 14, 2011


Just got the email from our swim team coordinator reminding us that sign-up for the swim team/dive ‎team is around the corner. 6 weeks when you spend what feels like every waking moment at the ‎pool cheering your kid and the entire rest of the ‘hood kids on at weekend meets. ‎

When we lived in DC, I had no idea that there was this secret Bethesda world of neighborhood pools, ‎or that there were over 10 swim teams in Bethesda alone. We sadly shuffled our way over to the ‎public pool on Little Falls Pkwy or braved one of the bigger DC pools, somehow sensing we were ‎missing out on something but not being able to put our finger on it. We naively put our name on the ‎waitlist for Palisades pool and were fortunate to get off the list, five years later, just as we were ‎moving to Carderock Springs.‎

Lo and behold, when our kids joined the Carderock dive/swim team a few years back, I learned that ‎almost every neighborhood in Bethesda has a community pool, open only to residents of the ‎surrounding neighborhood, and almost every one of those pools has a swim team. Each weekend, a ‎hoard of cars rolls into our club’s parking lot, and big and little swimmers alike tumble out, their ‎swimsuits festooned with the enemy team’s logo. If your kid belongs to one of these swim teams, ‎you are required to slap one of the team’s circular magnets on your car. I am pretty sure it is a stated ‎requirement in the parent swim team handbook, if the compliance rate on all the cars is anything to go ‎by.‎

At our pool, we even have a little pre-team, the “mini-cudas”, made up of kids who can barely hold ‎their heads above the water, who are taught how to swim by the much bigger ‘Cudas. There is ‎something very sweet in watching the older teenagers teach the next generation of little swimmers ‎how to blow bubbles and maybe, in a few years, join the team and swim a lap of the pool to the ‎reward of a bright-colored ribbon. Go CUDAS!‎

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