On Saturdays I take Huwyl to drama class right across town, after that I run errands so we are gone pretty much all afternoon. It was a beautiful day, blue skies burned down on us and the white ice and snow that still covers the ground seemed to glow. Imagine my delight to come home to discover we had ourselves an ice rink!
The boys set too pretty quickly and soon it was all about the ‘skating’. Neirin started asking to skate and even Huwyl expressed an interest, despite his earlier assertions that no skater would he be.
As the sun set we were all full of skating plans for the next day. Stephen and I decided we would invest in some skates for the boys so that they could have some ice time on the pond while it is still good and cold. If they can learn to at least stand up I can take them to local rinks for some good whizzing around and, after all, they are Canadian.
By the next morning Huwyl had decided he was too nervous to try skating and wasn’t even willing to give it a go. He was convinced he would crash into someone and so was not going to try. No way, no how.
Now I don’t like pushing my kids into activities, but I also know that this kind of reluctance is a barrier to fun times, this is my own temperament too, I know how it goes. So I told Huwyl a story about when I was little myself, it went like this.
When I was little a circus came to town, I don’t remember where it was but I do remember that we were out on a street and there was an elephant! All the children were allowed to stroke it but I refused. No way, I wasn’t touching that crazy creature! I hung back and clung to my Mum instead. But as the elephant walked away I was suddenly gripped by the desire to try, to reach out and touch it’s wrinkled skin, to feed it’s massive trunk. Unfortunately it was too late, the elephant was gone and I had missed my chance. I was an adult before I had another chance to touch an elephant, this time I rode on it and it was wonderful.
When I had finished Huwyl immediately said “Skating is like the elephant!” and told me he really wanted to give skating a try. So after an expensive visit to the skates store we headed to the biggest skating rink in the world, right in downtown Ottawa.
Suffice to say, the boy skated. Before I knew it he was off, giving it his best. He is still tentative and is just getting his bearings but he is trying and learning as he goes. But the thing I am most proud of is that when he falls, which he is doing a lot right now, he gets right back up again and keeps trying.
We spent some time together down at the pond today, working on his skating. Even in that short time he saw improvement and skated further and further away from his scared self and closer to his confident self. The three rules that apply to skating seem to also apply to life in their own simple way.
Be confident, keep your head up and glide.