Day 20 is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. There was a skate with Santa afternoon at one of our rec centres. The flyer boasted of presents, prizes and skating games with Santa. The only problem was, I was taking 2 kids skating who had never really gone before and I had no one to help me.
Will doesn’t skate. The skates hurt his feet and besides, someone had to stay home with Lincoln. I asked a couple of people if they could come with me but no one was available (big surprise, last weekend before Christmas).
I don’t skate very well. I took some lessons when I was a kid but I’ve only gone a handful of times in the last decade. Jordan has been a couple of times, the last time being 2 years ago (I was pregnant last winter so we didn’t go at all last year) and I think I brought Cam on the ice once before… maybe.
I could have thrown in the towel. One less than stellar adult skater in charge of 2 beginner skaters who are 3 and 6 years old? Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. It might even seem like an accident waiting to happen. I considered cancelling and doing something else, but instead I stubbornly powered through and took them.
I like getting out of my comfort zone. I like challenging myself. I want my kids to see that and maybe it’ll rub off on them. I’m not completely crazy though, I had a game plan.
They have plastic skating aids to help kids who are just learning to skate. I thought I’d get Jordan set up with one of those, do a lap with him and then get Cam set up with hers and stay mostly with her. If there were any major problems, I could always pack them up and leave early.
Jordan got on the ice and grabbed one of the aids and went on his way. It was slow at first, he was trying to walk rather than skate, then he started getting the hang of it and moving a bit more. Cam came onto the ice and we grabbed another aid. She held on and I pushed her along.
At this particular rink they section off one corner of the ice for the beginners to stay in. This way, the faster skaters don’t run over the newbies and the kids don’t get stranded halfway down the rink. So, Jordan was slowly doing laps and I asked Cam if she wanted to try skating just holding my hand. No, no she didn’t. So, we kept going.
After a few laps, I looked back and saw Jordan was trying to skate without the aid. At first it was a bit like Bambi taking his first steps, wobbly and unsure of himself. He even slipped and fell a number of times. I asked if he was ok, he said he was and he got up to try again.
Then Santa came on the ice. He was outside the beginners ring handing out little presents to all the kids. I told Cam we could go over there but we can’t bring the aid out of the circle. She wanted a present so she let me skate her over while holding her hands. She got her little present (a notebook) and we went back.
I told her she’d have to hold on to the aid while I took Jordan over to Santa. She was ok with that. I took Jordan over and looked back at Cam, she was using the aid to skate without me!
After that, Cam didn’t want me to help her anymore. She was doing really well. She’d slip and fall, tell me she was ok and then get up and keep going. Jordan was going back and forth between using the aid and skating on his own. Whenever he saw another kid who looked like they needed it more than he did, he offered it to them.
Jordan started looking less like a fawn and more like a skater. He was moving his feet properly and getting a lot farther each try. They both wiped out a lot and they both kept getting back up. At one point after they both fell and seemed a bit tired I asked if we should head home. They both said no and scrambled to their feet to skate some more.
I ended up spending the last 10 minutes sitting on the sideline watching both of them. Neither of them needed my help at all. They were both proud of themselves, I’m proud of them too. And to think, I almost didn’t take them because I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it. Never underestimate your kids, they can surprise you if you give them the chance!
There are lots of rec centres and other places that put on a skate or swim with Santa, or breakfast with Santa. Check out your local pool or community centre and see what’s happening during the last few days before Christmas.
If you missed some of the series check out the links below, and don’t forget to follow along right up to Christmas!