We spent President's Day ice skating.
The rink was recovering from a fire, so there wasn't much but the original walls and the ice rink left. We sat on old bleachers and cheered for the girls as they skootched slowly by. Ellie's friend Ruby has trained in Roller Derby, and that soon translated into a speedy, confident glide. Ellie was awkward but willing, and little friend Kaylee was gripping the wall for dear life but not willing to quit. It was Tessa who worried me. She went once around the rink, white knuckled and gripping the wall, and was soon back at the bleachers with that look. You know the look? The one that says, this sucks, my feet hurt, you're mean for doing this to me, and I want to go home. Yeah, that one.
I tried to balance my mama response the way you balance on ice skates; not too far one way or the other, and not buckling at the ankles. I told her I knew it was hard but that I knew it would get easier with a few more tries. I told her she could try more, or sit with us, but that we would be staying the full time, and that if she would like to complain she was welcome to do so out in the van.
She opted to go back out on the ice. Good choice.
The girls skated for a good 3 hours and begged to stay longer when it was time to go. Tessa's efforts had payed off big time, and she went from wall-hugger to wind-in-her-hair, passin'-up-the-slow-pokes good. As we walked out of the rink area to return their skates, they rode that high that only comes when you have your own shoes back on; your feet feel like heaven, walking seems slow and jarring, and your legs feel like rubber, but you know you just came as close to flying as a person can come with both feet on mother earth.
"This was so fun! We have to come again! I want to do this for my birthday!" Tessa gushed, trudging along on Gumby legs. I think it was the first time I have ever been to a rink and not also skated myself, but just watching the girls, playing with Natalie and talking to my sweetie, I had as much fun as ever.
That night before bed, Tessa said, " I am so glad that everyone was safe and no one was hurt at skating."
It was a lovely little gratitude.
I was glad,
glad for all that,
and glad that she had been willing to try.
Tessa flying by in a pink blur
Natalie's new fave toy... crinkly granola bar wrapper.
Take that big, expensive, name brand toy!