Mighty Ducks: Parental View

“Gracie, it’s 20 minutes until practice, and I want to be early. So, go ahead and change into your swimsuit”

“Yay! I almost forgot about that!”


As I enter the humid building, I noticed that their wasn’t a child in sight. It looked as though the college swimmers were finishing up their session.


“Wowwww! Mama that sure is a humongous pool.”

I giggled a little. “Humongous it is sweetie, and you will do great.”

“I know mama. I ain’t scared.”


Great to know that we were early, and I had all my ducks in a row.


“Hey, excuse me, I’m here for the competitive swimming program. Today is supposed to be the first practice of the season.”

“Um, yes ma’am. Someone should be here in a few minutes to assist you. Did you put your form in the box?”

“I did a few months ago”

“Well you should be good to go when Julie gets here.”

“Okay, great! Thanks.”

“Sure thing, ma’am.”


There was a wide screen on the wall that displayed the time. It read 4:10 p.m. when a middle aged red-faced lady announced,“Hey ya’ll, can I get you all to step into this room to verify that your child or children are on Ms. Julie’s roster?”


Standing first in line, I was confident that I wouldn’t be one of those parents to hold up the process.


“Hi, can I get name?”

“It should be under Gracie Jones”

“Jones, Jones…um ok you are not of the roster. Can I get you to login on that computer and pull up your information?”


I tried to hide my annoyance, but the fact of the matter was that I paid in full two months in advance and was now being told that my child was not on the list. This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.


“Excuse me, ma’am, it’s not allowing me to log in, but I do have an email to verify my payment.”

“Hmmm, yep! That is an email from us. Well, can I get you to wait here for Ms. Julie to arrive? Okay, thanks. Next parent please.”


By the time this unknown Ms. Julie arrives, it is apparent that she is irritated from a prior engagement.


“Hey, Ms. Julie,” says the red-faced lady from earlier as she breaks through the crowd of parents. “Ms. Julie, can I get you look at this parent’s phone. She’s not on your roster and can’t log into the system, but she has an email verifying payment.”


“Ma’am, she’ll handle you from here,” she says to me.


After two seconds worth of glancing, I was asked to pay at least 216 bucks for Gracie to be admitted.

“Ma’am, you were not charged and the form you submitted was from our last session.”

“Ms. Julie, I have my bank statement pulled up as well, and I was charge two months ago.”

“Mama, can I go sit with my friends?”

“Not yet sweetie, give me a minute.”

Ms. Julie continued, “Well, ma’am, as of today we will need a minimum of 216 dollars in order for her to swim”


Now I was red-faced with anger, as I briskly walked towards the car to retrieve my checkbook. Moments like these are such nightmares for single parents. I was so used to the payment process of many other sporting companies, even those that are city-based, but this experience was a complete pain in the ass. Gymnastic classes were always a smooth and simple process. You sign up, you pay the company, and you show up. Simple.


“Alright mama, she is ready to roll.”

“Mama, am I a mighty duck now?”

“Yes, sweetie, you are a mighty duck now.”

”What’s your name again hunny?”

“I’m Gracie!”

“Okay, Miss Gracie, give this to your coach, and she’ll let you in the pool.”

“Yay! Okay, thanks. Bye mama!”


That was all Gracie needed to hear, and she practically flew to the shallow section of the olympic-sized pool. The digital wall-clock now read 4:47pm, and practice is scheduled to be over at 5:15pm. Gracie didn’t care, and I was just happy to sit down.


“Hey girl, what was that all about?”

“Me failing at being well-prepared. I paid for Gracie’s lessons back in January, and can you believe that I was asked to pay again because the payment was transferred to their bank under the wrong season?”

“Wow, I just paid last week, and there weren’t any issues.”

“They say hindsight is 20/20. Now I’m thinking I probably should have just waited, too.”

“What a shame because Mia pointed you and Gracie out before we made it to the door. They have wasted most of practice on registration.”

“I knowww, but I’m glad to have it out of the way. It’ll straighten itself out.”


Round Two


Today, I feel much lighter. My guess is that I know I won’t be bombarded with questions and check-writing.


Skipping and hopping along is my extremely excited kid. “Mama, I’m ready today!”


“Heyy, ain’t your name Amy?”

“Yes, I’m Gracie’s mom.”

“These are for you,” handing over two voided checks. “We fixed that issue so we did not need to run the checks.”

“That’s great! Thanks.”

“No, thank you for your patience.”


“Mama look, I can float!”