With the kids off for two weeks for Christmas break, but my son still having IBI therapy 3 days this week, I have spent some great quality time with my daughter. On Tuesday, among other regular things we did for the day, I took her skating, and we had a blast!
The first time she went skating was with her father and a friend of his last year. I’ll admit that I was a bit upset he had taken her skating for her first time as he doesn’t know how to skate whereas I’m a former skating coach. On Tuesday, she was so excited about going skating “on a skating rink, for the first time ever!”. I was quite nostalgic that we were going skating on the rink I had spent literally thousands of hours on until an injury forced me to quit skating at 17 years old.
On her first lap around the rink, my daughter was scared, cautious and deliriously happy (honestly, I didn’t think that combination was possible!). She held on for dear life to the boards with one hand and me with the other. She had a mini panic when she almost lost her footing, but I was able to correct her balance enough that she didn’t fall, so I seized the teaching opportunity. I told her that I had her, and that I would never let anything hurt her.
That seemed to calm her fears and, as we continued onto the 2nd lap of the rink, her grip on me and the boards lessened, and she didn’t seem to panic when we had to go around kids smaller than her who were taking up space at the boards with their parents.
In the next laps around the rink, her confidence grew and she would venture out from the boards a little more each time, never letting go of my hand, constantly talking about this being her first time skating in an arena, and we both had perma-smiles on our faces. She learnt how to fall without hurting herself and she would actually laugh her head off each time she did – I’ve never seen that from a kid, and I coached kids for 8 years! We would spend a few seconds figuring out what shapes and patterns the snow from the fall made on her pants. She’s still working on learning how to get up by herself.
She surprised me when the buzzer went off to tell everyone it was time to get off the ice by asking if she could skate across the rink by herself to get off the ice. We waited until the majority of people were at the exit of the rink, skated a bit closer, I reminded her how to balance herself with her arms out and where to put the pressure and strength in her arms, and SHE DID IT!!! She skated across the width of the ice all by herself!! She even told me to take a picture:
I love the look of pure joy on her face! Like mother, like daughter: not only do people comment on how much we look alike (someone even said when we were out with my man and his son today that they didn’t even have to guess who she belonged to when they saw me), but she’s a natural born skater. She can’t wait to go again tomorrow…and neither can I!!
Lessons she learned while skating (and honestly, I needed to relearn some of them too!):
- Mommy’s ALWAYS there for you
- Always look out for those who are smaller than you
- Laugh at yourself, even when you fall down
- Make the best of every situation
- It’s ok to lean on others to help you get back up