When my oldest daughter, Kate(9), was three years old she told me she wanted to learn how to ice skate. Her brother took a class at the local mall when he was about four and she wanted to be out on that ice so badly. I figured I would have to be out there with her and well, being very pregnant, that wasn't going to happen. After the baby arrived money, time and sanity all took a hit. The last thing I wanted to think about was ice skating. It was expensive anyway. We pushed the poor dear into sports we knew and understood like soccer and softball. Neither of which put a smile on her face for very long. Her heart just wasn't in them. I wondered if we would ever find "her thing".
While we traveled with Erik during the two years he spent as a contractor, we suspended all organized sports but promised to resume them when we settled down again. Any time we had the discussion of "what would you like to try" my darling daughter's first response was always, "Ice skating". As the Lord would have it, the house we ended up buying here in Colorado is only about a mile from an ice rink that has, you guessed it, a "Learn to Skate" program. Erik checked into it and discovered that it wasn't as pricey as we remembered so we enrolled her in the Basic one class. I have never see this child this excited over anything - ever. Erik phoned from her first lesson to tell me that the girl couldn't sit still while she waited for class to start. If you know Kate, you know this is totally out of character for her. I think that first class began in September and she's be going ever since. She loves it. I now take her to all classes, lessons and practices. I feel like it is something that we are sharing even though I'm not out on the ice with her.
In the last couple of months an opportunity has come up for her to join a local skate team. I have felt so overwhelmed at times just trying to learn about all the gear and terms and competitions. I guess it's good that I can take on some of that for her and she can just enjoy her time on the ice. Of course, the expenses do begin to add up quickly. She has a private coach now and skates and her team warm up should arrive at our house on Sunday. Then there are the entry fees, ice fees, music prep fees...etc. People have asked me if we're moving in this direction because we've seen natural talent - well, as I don't know squat about figure skating I can't judge whether she has talent or not. What I do know is that her face lights up when we talk about it. She loves going to class or just skating in general.
Right now, the only draw back (other than cost) is how cold it is in the stands at our little rink. I am going to have to acclimate or I'll be sick all the time. This session we've added the younger two girls also (6 & 4). They are in the classes but not on the team as of yet. I can't tell if they love it because they love it or they love it because their big sister loves it. Sometimes I wish I had listened when she said she wanted to skate all those years ago. I feel so silly now for taking this long to let her give it a try. Maybe I was afraid she would actually like it? Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone. This former Florida girl doesn't have much experience with winter sports.