Friday, November 9, 2012

Sweating the small stuff

Caleb was promoted to the rank of Sea Horse at swim school about a month ago, and I haven't had the heart to tell him until now.

Oh we're proud of him, all right. And thrilled for his progress. But his graduation from Barnacle to Sea Horse is bittersweet, and I blame it all on a silly little rubber bracelet. A red one, to be exact. With "barnacle" embossed in all caps. The one his swim school ran out of. And the one they're no longer going to be giving away.

So even though he did everything his coach said he had to--even though he can swim with his eyes in, with no back float, half the distance of the pool--even after all that, he only has one bracelet to bring home.

Abby has two. One for the level she started in, and one for the level she moved up to. And ever since the day that I first realized the bracelets existed, I've been digging through the little basket of bracelets, trying to find a red one for Caleb, and promising him that I would get him one. A red one, to be exact. With "barnacle" embossed in all caps. The details matter, because there were lots of bracelets in that basket, but the one he wanted, the one he'd earned, wasn't there.

"Did you find my bracelet?" he asks every week after his lesson. Not yet, I tell him, but I'll keep looking.

They told me more were coming, and I in turn told Caleb.

And I learned my lesson in always checking my sources.

Because it turns out, there are no more bracelets coming. And my three-year-old will have his yellow Sea Horse bracelet, just like his sister. But there will be no red one. At least not from the swim school.

But I promised this kid a red bracelet. And he'll have one. With "barnacle" embossed in all caps. Even if it costs me $14 to order just one custom bracelet. Because when you're three, stuff like this matters. And a promise is a promise.


  1. You are the BEST writer. I just wanted to hunt down that bracelet for Caleb!!

  2. Have you thought about a facebook post to look for one? Someone probably has one their kid couldn't care less about. :) Never know...