On Thin Ice

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

       Last week my eldest daughter (wow, that sounds weird to say) started figure skating lessons. The neglected middle child that she is we figured we owed it to her to get her started in some kind of extracurricular activities. She picked ‘ice dancing’.
       It seemed like a good choice. I mean, we’re already spending countless hours and every weekend morning at the ice arena for her brother’s hockey so why not? She’s doing really well with it… aside from the whole hysterical crying every time she falls down. But she’s participating, so that’s something.

     But starting the program with her brought back some very ‘fond’ memories from when our son did this very same program. Now, this was about three years ago so he’s come a long ways since then but we didn’t exactly end his program on a real positive note. In fact, if you had told me after his last lesson in the program that in three years he’d be playing hockey, I would have laughed. Out loud. 

     His final skating lesson in this particular program fell the week of Halloween. The kids were supposed to come in their costumes. My kid came as Spiderman. And he was sooo excited. Until we tried to push him out onto the ice. He screamed. He hollered. He literally clawed himself back through the door and onto the concrete in a writhing, tear-soaked, Spiderman-costume-and-ice-skate-wearing mess.

      Not wanting to ‘make a scene’ with his hysterics, I gathered up our stuff (including the aforementioned eldest daughter, who was at the time a wee babe) and decided we’d just call the lesson a wash and head home. Now my husband was on duty at the time but just happened to swing by the ice arena during his lunch break to see his little dude’s last lesson. He walks in – and promptly starts walking back out with me and our menagerie of crying kids.

     So here’s the image… Hysterical crying 3-year-old wearing a Spiderman costume and ice skates being drug along by a hysterical woman with a wailing baby under her arm – being ‘escorted’ out of the arena by a uniformed and armed State Trooper. To the outside world, it really must have been a sight. I must have looked like a serious contender for ‘Mother of Year’ on that one… I’m actually kind of surprised they let us back into the building for a second go ’round at the program with child #2.

     Fast-forward three years to last night’s session and about five minutes in we had a flashback when all THREE kids started crying at the same time. Eldest daughter because she fell on the ice (don’t worry – she wears a helmet), son because he fell on the concrete while ‘checking’ himself into the boards along side the rink and the baby because, well, she’s a baby.

Ah yes, who wouldn’t want to spend a few more hours every week at a place that evokes such ’emotion’ from our family. Oh well. At least this time my escort wasn’t in uniform when we walked out.

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