|photo courtesy of stevendepolo|
We were about seven parents with three year olds. The main lesson was how to fall and get up. Isaac and I were both a little distracted. Isaac didn't like his glove-mittens so he fidgeted with them the whole time. My brain was squished because I hadn't realized I was supposed to bring a helmet and was given a tiny kids' helmet to wear/squeeze onto my head.
It was Isaac's first time on ice. I held him up the entire time - hunched over with my hands in his armpits. He kept going floppy. I explained to him several times he had to support his own weight. His favourite part of the morning was watching the zamboni.
My back and arms ached for days afterwards. I wondered if I was just supposed to let him go - to flounder, fall and bruise into mastery.
My sister reminded me of the blog post she wrote last year after she took Cole skating for the first time. I read it again and loved it. Oh my, could I relate.
She put it so clearly:
It is one thing to know what you're supposed to do, as a parent, to help your child become resilient, strong, independent. It is entirely another to have the wherewithal to truly follow through. Curtis [her friend's son] fell, but he had to fall to learn to skate. And more importantly, his successes (as infrequently as they came at first) were truly his.
I think I have to let go of Isaac's armpits.