I spent almost every Friday night of 7th grade and 8th grade at the local skating rink. I loved to roller skate, but I must confess, I was mostly there to flirt with the boys and hang out with my best friend, Lisa. I have only been a handful of times since then. But I used to love skating. My sisters and I took my kids to skate the day before school started back. It looked exactly the same. The carpet was the same, the skates were the same, the yellow booths in the food area, even a lot of the music was the same.
What wasn't the same was the company. This time I wasn't there to flirt with the handsome 8th grader wearing an acid washed jean jacket, hoping he'd ask me to couple skate. Nope, I was there as a mom. A mom in a boot who couldn't skate. So I had time to observe my children as they tried to learn something new.
First I watched Molly. She was hesitant to put on her skates, until she saw that Andrew had them on. Then she was adamant that I put them on her right then. I did, and she LOVED them. She wanted to go around the rink over and over again. I held her up and walked around the rink in my tennis shoe and boot. ( I think it is the same floor from when I was 13, too, so they weren't too worried about me scuffing it up). When she discovered she could go all by herself on the carpet, she ran (on skates) back and forth between the rink and carpet. I had a hard time keeping up with her, so I took her skates off. She ran all over the rink in her socks dodging in and out between skaters. Now it was impossible to keep up with her. She was giddy and laughing. Skating with Molly is like anything with Molly. If Andrew will do it, she will do it. She doesn't mind letting someone help her out, but once she knows how to do something, she wants to do it herself. And if she is going to do something, she is going to smile and laugh and enjoy it.
Skating with Ryan was also like anything else we do with Ryan lately. He insisted that he didn't want to go skating. He knew he wasn't "going to like it. He declared that it wasn't his choice, it was Mommy's choice. And skating wasn't fair! (That is what he says to everything these days). But then he went out and held his aunts' hands and had a fun time. He was a very cautious skater the whole time. They played his favorite song "Dynamite" and he laughed and danced on his skates. Out of the blue, these two older girls came over and offered to skate with him and he went off and had a great time with them. Then, when it was time to go home, Ryan again declared that skating was boring and yucky and no fun had that he had not had a good time at all. Then the very next day he randomly came to me and asked if he could please take skating lessons because he really liked skating and skating was AWESOME! And that in a nutshell is my sweet Ryan for you, lately. Hesitant to try new things. Hates transitions. Makes friends with strangers, wherever he is without even trying. Kids are just drawn to him. Still he refuses to admit he enjoys something while he is doing it. I haven't really figured that out yet. It is a new behavior that has cropped up this summer. Maybe as a result of all the chaos in our house with mommy out of commission?
Andrew put on his skates and was gone. He did NOT want help from ANYONE. He was going to figure out how to skate on his own. He spent way more time on his bum then on his feet, but he very seriously brushed himself off and got back up again. He was determined to do it on his own. He acted almost offended when his aunts wanted to skate with him. Like he thought they were somehow insinuating that he needed help. (Which, by the way he did! Because he had never skated before!!!!). Andrew wants to teach himself everything. He did the same thing with bike riding and shoe tying. He pretty much told us to go away and leave him alone. And then he taught himself to tie his shoes, to ride a bike, and now to skate. Not that he is an expert at any of it. He is six. When Ryan declared his intention to take skating lessons, Andrew actually said, "I don't want lessons. I just want you to let me go skating at the same time as Ryan's lessons, and I will figure it out on my own." Let's hope by the time he is ready for driver's ed he will let someone help him. I don't think they actually let you get in a car and drive by yourself the first time.
I had a great time watching my sisters with my children. My children adore their aunts, as do I. I sure am going to miss them when they go back to college this week.