There's a Family Skate event today at the local rink. Ice time is such a hot commodity that this event is only an hour. That's about enough to struggle putting on the skates of a four-year old and five-year old and get them re-acclimated to the ice before the time is over. But we're still going because the last time we did this it was a smashing success!
About two weeks ago, the Rec department set up another family skate, this time on a Friday Night. It was the same evening as a major Christmas pageant in town so there were only about ten families at the rink. Despite the late hour, it was perfect for teaching our kids to skate.
Actually T has been before. He was even taking lessons for a month or so until we gave up on the idea of him ever staying with his class and paying attention to the instructor. He could skate just fine, he just couldn't get the hang of staying with the group and following instructions. Not a surprise since he was like that with every activity we tried for him, except swimming. We also have a swampy area in the back of a neighbor's yard that we have had him skating on in particularly cold weather.
P had never been skating until two weeks ago. At first he thought that falling down was absolutely hilarious and I was afraid that we would never get him to try staying upright and moving forward. In any new situation, P tends to get silly and out of control, but somehow we managed to get him focused. We went around the side of the rink with me once and perhaps another time or two with my husband, and then he was trying it on his own, albeit awkwardly. Yet, in spite of the fact that he was more walking on the ice than actually skating, this four-year old first-time skater managed to get himself in the middle of a makeshift soccer game that some older kids were playing with a empty coke bottle, skate up to the bottle, kick it and keep skating. And that to the myriad moments we have with P that make his parents' jaws drop in awe.
My husband was a hockey player and we have had on and off discussions about whether the boys should be encouraged to play. We joke that since they are Russian, it is in their blood, but neither of us is going to push the game on them (we don't even watch the Bruins games on TV), and of course, I worry about injury. For now, I'm just pleased that they've both taken to it so well, because even though I was never any good at skating as a kid, it's fun now, with the pressure off, and it's even more fun to watch them do something they are good at.
P.S. I have no idea whether any locals will actually read this, but I just have to say that I continue to be impressed by the kids in this town. They were polite and thoughtful, helping my kids up from falls when their parents weren't quite close enough to reach them. The "soccer" players offered to let P play even though he would slow them down. Just gotta say THANKS!