Saturday, November 10, 2007

Letting Go.

This morning I had my first, of what will probably be many, mornings at the ice rink.

The Boy want to play Hockey. Hockey with a capital H.

I explained to him that he needs to learn to ice skate before donning the helmet, pads, and breezers (whatever those are). He took what I said to heart, and was duly excited for ice skating this morning.

This morning. 8 am. We are not morning people - especially on the weekend. There were 50 or so "Beginners." Most are five or six, some of the "Pre-Beginners" are starting as young as three. Don't tell my three year old, I told her she had to be four.

The lessons are well structured. It's a half hour class, half hour practice - or the reverse. The classes are staffed 10 kids to 3 instructors with a couple floaters thrown in. The practice is chaperoned by two staffers. There are plenty of people out there to help.

A couple times last year, I took the kids to the park and let them have a go. This year, the youngest is three and will be getting her skates - as promised last year.

For the most part, parents are a pretty good group. They sit and chat, watch their kids, have a cup of coffee. As I'm coming to realize, in every group there is One. One parent that 'knows better' than the instructors. One parent that finds it necessary to 'point things out' - usually distracting the child from the lesson.

Fifteen minutes into the practice session (the Boy practices first, then has the lesson) I had to bite my lip in order not to say something. He's busy yelling at his five year old, and the chaperone - something about 'using the outside of his skate' - through the glass. As a note, this kid can't stay up for more than fifteen seconds. Let's work on getting him upright first. Maybe.

What do I know?

There's a reason I'm paying someone else to teach my child to skate. It's not that I couldn't, it's just there are more qualified people out there. I wanted to tell this guy, "Hey, if you know so much, why don't you teach him during free skate and let the staffers do their job?" While the instructor is busy pandering to you, there are a bunch of other kids that could use her help.

And while I'm on the subject... There are the parents out there. On the ice with their child. Again... Why are you paying for lessons? Wait until the outdoor rinks freeze up, or come during free skate and help your kid.

I've found, at least with my kids, that if I'm there, they lean on me. Swimming? Why do I have to swim if Mom will hold me up? Ice Skating? Same thing. I know if I was on the ice, The Boy would be clinging to me not getting nearly as much out of the lesson. If they're not ready to be out there 'alone' - why not wait another year until they are?

Of course, if one of my kids finds themself learning to guard the low post or training for a 5K, I'll be all over that.

As it turns out, a year made a lot of difference for The Boy.

Last year, nearly every time he fell down, he'd get discouraged and want to quit. This year? Not so much. He fell and fell and got himself back up, dusted off and had another go. Couldn't get himself back up last year. Not only that, but as the lesson was coming to a close, he started running across the ice. There is no way he'd gottten that far if I was holding his hand.

It's hard to let go, but can be worth it.


Lukie said...

**blushing** This sounds like me. My son plays baseball and I love to coach him. I spend hours hitting him grounders and pop flys. There are times when I am positive I know more than his coach. **putting my tail between my legs and leaving the room**

Gretchen said...

I know - if my kids are in basketball - I'll be all over it!