"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go" - Rumi
"Mom can I go ice skating?" is the most frequently asked question right now in our home.
That and "Mom, what's for dinner?"
She learned how to ice skate. Just like she learned how to ride a bike and ski. Marc tends to manage the sporty activities. Because I'm not sporty and he is. Or that's the story I've told myself. Maybe it's actually because she is highly tuned in to my anxiety about her learning new physical activities, and he is much more chill and flexible. Because I worry about falls and crashes and damage to body parts that already need some extra love. Or perhaps it's because I get rigid within the unknown and she senses that.
On Sunday the question about skating comes and Marc is committed to watching the Patriots play football. So we do things a little differently. I pick up her friend and take them skating. I will be writing at the coffee shop a few doors down, giving them space to be thirteen, but also readily accessible in case she needs me.
This is our attempted balance. The giving her roots and wings. The being near her space, but not in it. Spaciousness within security. This is how we do.
We get to the ice skating rink and I'm in charge of helping her put her ice skates on. Some other friends who are already at the rink skate over to say hi. They wait, while we struggle with the skates. She makes a face at me indicating [without words] that this may not be in my skill set and that she is frustrated. Frustrated with me but still empathic and kind and psyched to be with her friends doing something that she loves.
It is clear that our current attempt is not working. So we start over and she says "Mom use all your muscles" and I try. I re-lace and use a friend's magic ice skating key. Putting on ice skates is difficult. After about fifteen minutes of struggle, the skates are on. We make a plan that I will pick them up in a few hours and I walk away, down to the coffee shop in our tiny town.
Side note: she crashes while skating and skiing and biking. This is part of life. The crashing, the getting up, the resuming. She picks herself up and we help her. I know logically that crashing is normal and that we learn from the falls.
But it is a worry that lives in my mama heart. A worry that feels like shame and like judgment and like pain about making the wrong choice for this child, by letting her fly so freely. But we are committed to live by her mantra which is that "I just want to be a regular kid." We will follow her lead.
I walk by about an hour later and stop to help re-tighten the skates. I check in on them. I am nicely waved away after I do my skate related job. There is laughter and rest with hot cocoa and popcorn and the cheesiest music on the speakers.
She is just a regular kid having fun with her friends. And I return to the coffee shop to write down these moments, so I don't forget, as she is teaching us all how to fly.
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