Today our local homeschool group met up at the skating rink for Friday Play. While I figure skated for ten years as a kid, I have only been on skates once since, and that was nineteen years ago. My girls had never been on skates before today. Buddy wanted to come too, but a promise to take just him next week let me get out the door with only three butts that were about to be covered in ice shavings.
We were stunned to discover about a hundred middle school kids on the ice when we arrived, but the girls were still game, so out we went. About thirty seconds in, with both girls clinging to the wall, watching ‘big kids’ zip by them, they were tears. But not for long!
Some of the other homeschool moms and kids came and helped us out, pairs of them taking each kid out so I could bounce back and forth between them as needed, for both kudos and booboo kisses. The middle school kids were even awesome, complimenting the kids on how they kept getting back up and trying again, and one young woman (yes, she is) not only sat with Big D on the bench outside the rink when they were both taking a break, but got to Big D before I could one time she fell, and then kept checking in, and even came to say goodbye before they left. I heard preteen boys see my girls fall and say to each other so they could hear it “falling is a part of skating.” An eight year old homeschool kid took Beara out, and it seemed like every time one of the girls said she needed a break and went off the rink, one of the moms or kids had her back out again within a minute or two.
By the end of the three-hour session (including a break for some really stellar french fries), both girls were doing GREAT. Big D put in well over an hour just using the cage by herself, and Beara, while more reluctant to be without a hand to hold, actually did take a few strokes without holding on to *anything*. As for me, I not only didn’t fall down, but actually remembered how to do front crossovers, and almost managed a shoot-the-duck, which chuffed me up no end, as I’m sure you can imagine. (Full disclosure: my legs were absolute rubber by the time we got home, and I’m oh-so-glad that Daddyman will be home all day tomorrow and Sunday, since I’m sure to be a hurting unit.)
Absolutely no way could I have taken my two kids to an empty rink and gotten them to these levels of ability and enjoyment on my own. Not only did we benefit from the homeschool community we went there to be with, but from the middle school community that kinda-sorta intimidated us all a little at the beginning, with all those hockey-playing kids zipping by us.
The girls certainly fell, but it was onto thick ice. Our community helped me support their weight, and I’m grateful: the girls want to go back.