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Friday, October 25, 2013

Isaac skates

photo courtesy of stevendepolo
We signed Isaac up for skating lessons.  A neighbour told me the program at our nearby community centre is good and we like Saturday morning family activities.  Last Saturday was our first class.  Ben was running a 10k race so it was just Isaac and I. 

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. 

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