(As a side note, yes, she’s selling cookies, but I will only sell cookies to people who know me well enough that they already have my physical address. I’m not soliciting cookie sales on my weblog: you should buy from your local troop. If you don’t want cookies yourself, I believe you can purchase them for donation to troops overseas.)
We eventually got her into skates (you’d think that would be the easy part, but apparently reserving skates does not mean those skates will be there) and then I walked her out to the ice and said, “Good luck.”
That sounds cold-hearted, but really, what was I going to do? Yes,I could probably have gotten skates and gone onto the ice with her, but I can’t skate either. I mean, I can go forward. I can topple over on my butt as gracefully as any mother-of-four you’ve ever seen. But what I wouldn’t be able to do would be to help her figure it out.
She stayed near the wall and shuffled, gripping the wall. After about ten minutes, with her only halfway around the rink, I began wondering how I’d get to her if she gave up or couldn’t get up again.
I was sure she’d come off the ice after her first time around and tell me she didn’t want to do it anymore. And there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t help.
I felt inside, it’s kind of like that in your spiritual life, too. You can talk about it ahead of time. You can learn about it. But at some point, you just have to head out there and struggle along.
I felt something like that once before, swimming with Kiddo#2, her on her noodle and me sidestroking a little in front of her, making sure she was okay as she trailed me into the much-coveted Deep End. I felt then, That’s what my guardian angel does with me.
One of Kiddo#2’s friends came up to her on skates, gave her some pointers. When Kiddo#2 got back to me, she was flushed and excited. It was fun! She had fallen a dozen times, but it was fun. So she went around again.
By the end of the party, she had skated into the middle. She could go around the whole rink without falling. She was freezing cold, but she’d loved every minute of it. When I couldn’t teach her, she’d stuck with it and learned. And I was proud of her for what she’d accomplished.