Monday, November 8, 2010

Breaking the ice

Yesterday, Girlie and I started ice skating lessons. Girlie is the type of child who will stress out about trying anything new, especially anything somewhat physical. A week ago, it started. What if I fall? What if everyone can skate? What if I am the oldest one there? She'll work herself up, tears threatening to spill.

Yes, she wanted to do it, but worried her way through buying the skates, worried while getting ready to go (I need knee pads!), worried her way to the rink in the car. I was the same kind of kid. Though I can hide it, I am often the same kind of adult, so I get it. I have learned that it is pointless to try to convince her (or myself) not to worry, but I do talk to her about it. I remind her of other times when things turned out great. This time, I kept saying "let's just see."

A few weeks back Hubs and I went through a list of potential afterschool activities. The kids here seem to be in everything and though that sort of thing is completely not my parenting philosophy, I'll admit, I feel the tiniest bit of pressure to keep up. The options include the usual like soccer, dance, piano, art and foreign language classes, but also other things like Russian math (don't ask, I have a whole post about that coming soon, I thought the woman said Russian dance). Girlie already takes gymnastics, but I thought we might be able to add one more activity.

Then I got the flier for ice skating. "That's it." Hubs said.

He thought it would be fun and that since many of her friends have grown up here, she'd want to do it with them at some point. On a whim, I decided to take the class with her. We have separate classes, but go at the same time. Why not? I haven't been skating in years, and I thought it would be more fun to skate, than to sit on the benches, freezing my tushie off watching her do it. Plus I suck at sports, so Girlie thinks that girls don't do those things.

On the way over there, I was thinking it would either be awesome, or a total disaster.

Turns out it was awesome. I didn't fall once and I even learned how to stop without crashing into the wall. Girlie fell a few times, but was doing so well that they bumped her up to the orange group (whatever that means, she was happy about it). Afterwards we went for hot chocolate. We have nine more sessions to go. Nine more Sunday afternoon outings with just the two of us.

It is hard to raise a child who reminds me so much of myself. I can't help feeling guilty when she struggles with something new. I constantly have to work through my own crap just to make sure I'm not making it harder on her. I had a little speech prepared in my mind, of what I would say if she had a rough time of it, how I would get her to continue the classes anyway. So it was a huge relief that, this time, the lesson wasn't that hard to learn.

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