Monday, January 4, 2010

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

My eldest daughter is into soccer big-time. Don't ask me how it happened. I vaguely remember signing her up for a summer rec program when she was 4 years old. Why? I couldn't tell you. I had never watched a soccer game in my life, let alone played the sport myself. It must have been my husband. I probably wanted to sign her up for T-ball or beachcombing and missed the deadline, so my husband likely suggested soccer as a good outdoor activity to encourage running and kicking. It's his fault. He's got only himself to blame for her all-consuming love of futbol and the resulting poverty from forking over the big bucks to finance her soccer career.

What was I trying to say? Oh, right. My point is that you just never know what your child is going to love to do in life. My firstborn seemed to find her path early on. My 9-year-old is trickier. She's tried a lot of different things. She's liked a lot of different things. But she absolutely hates being told what to do. While she adores dancing around the house, making up routines and performing for us in the living room, she chafes at being forced to stand at a ballet barre. She loves to draw and paint and color, but can't abide sitting in a classroom to create something that's been assigned. She would live year-round in a swimming pool if she could, pretending that she were a mermaid, but she groans and complains if a coach asks her to swim laps. I could go on and on, but I think you're getting the picture. She's one of those free-spirited, artistic types who needs a lot of unstructured time to play.

So you could have knocked me over with a feather when she started insisting that she needs ice skating lessons.

For whatever reason, the ice skating rink recently has become a popular destination for class field trips and friends' birthday parties. We've only got a million frozen ponds and lakes outside that cost zero cents to use, but our precious babies have to skate inside where it's nice and warm and requires $3.00 admission. Why, when I was a kid, I strapped on tin cans to my shoes and skated 5 miles on icy roads in a raging blizzard to school . . . wait a minute . . . what was I talking about? Oh, yes. I was pointing out that it didn't matter that her peers have been playing hockey or participating in figure skating competitions for years, my daughter—who has inherited her father's no fear gene—hit the ice in rented skates and decided that she, too, will skate backwards, spin, and balance on one leg. Which she did without falling even once.

She came off the ice with a huge smile on her face and one mission in life: to learn how to figure skate properly. I took her request with a grain of salt, mumbling, "We'll see . . , " knowing full well that if I distracted her with a cookie-baking session or a game of Clue, she'd forget all about her dreams of triple axels and salchows. Well, whaddyaknow. She's been pestering me on a daily basis since before Christmas to please, PLEASE sign her up for lessons. I reminded her that she'd be in a class with a teacher who will make her practice. Her eyes lit up at that. "Yes! I know, Mom! I was skating around a class in the middle of the rink, listening in on what they were saying!"

Alright, alright, kid. You've convinced me.

You start lessons on Saturday, 10:15 sharp.

Until then, I'll be at the computer Googling for ideas on how to get my 3-year-old twins to come out of their shells. I worry that they're too introverted and fearful.


Dinner last night: chow mein noodles, Mongolian beef


Unknown said...

Here in Texas, the only ice we get is in a rink. If there is ice outside, the whole state shuts down and the grocery stores sell out of water and bread, like it's the apocalypse.

Quadmama said...

One of my 4 year olds asked Santa for ice skates for Christmas. I explained to her that she's too little but had to promise her that Hubby and I will find a rink and go sometime soon.

Helene said...

Wow, look at her go!!! Maybe this time she's serious...could you imagine her being a famous ice skater someday??

I love the pic of the boys are like that too. In fact, today we went to a playgroup at the school and there were 2 other little girls there who basically stood by the wall watching the boys fling themselves off the trampoline and into the ball pit.

Karen M. Peterson said...

It's amazing what happens when someone finds something they love to do! I hope she keeps loving it and keeps at it.

And, yeah...those twins. Someone's really got to help them come out of their shells!

glitzen said...

Looks like such fun!