Most of our friends ice skate. They take lessons in the mornings at the Bryant Park rink, and for a while we’ve been asked and encouraged by those same friends to join in. But as is the case with most things, both Maya and Ben work on their own schedules. No amount of exhortation or tales of the great fun had by all will influence them. They’ll do it when they are ready, and on their own terms.
Today we met our friend Anna, who is only in town for a few days before heading back to the hills (she lives near Boulder, Colorado now) and went to Wollman Rink in Central Park to skate. Since both kids love her and seeing her is a rare treat, they are up for almost anything where she is concerned. Anna suggested ice skating, and Maya told me she was ready to know how to ice skate. She’s been on the ice a few times with me, and once at a friends’ birthday party, but never really felt confident. Ben has been on skates maybe 3 times. I love to skate, but it isn’t as much fun when you’ve got 40 extra pounds hanging on for dear life to one arm or the other. So I approached the trip with a small amount of trepidation.
Today, though, the planets aligned, the pieces fell into place and all was right with the world and the ice. The weather was a balmy 50 degrees and the ice was rough enough to make it easier for the kids to balance. Maya eschewed the wall immediately, refused a hand and proceeded to make her way, on her own, around and around the rink for an hour. I think she fell once. Ben stayed at the wall, but by the end could navigate small stretches of ice unassisted and was smiling at the achievement. I got to skate on my own most of the time, checking in with the kids now and then, as did Anna – and feeling it in my legs after 60 minutes!
After we were done, Maya said, “See, I don’t need a class to learn how to skate. I just needed to be ready. Can we go again next week?” Ben nodded his head in agreement. So we will. No pressure. More fun. Works for me.