Then the other day, I received an email from Willem's teacher...
Hello 2/3B parents!
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a relaxing break.
I am writing to inform you of a plan I have for phys. ed class. I have spoken with the principal and she has said it would be fine for your child to bring in skates and helmets for us to go skating at the rink across the field as part of our phys. ed curriculum. Of course, right now it's too cold, but once the weather warms up, I would love to take them there. In order for this to happen, your child MUST have a helmet. I have asked them all if they have skates, and some of them say they do not. If this is an issue, please let me know and I will try and accommodate them as best as I can. I will give you advance notice when I plan to take them -- I will be keeping a close eye on the weather network!
Enjoy the rest of your day!
And that really started it...our realization that it was maybe time to invest in skates. My husband and I, not being particularly athletically inclined have not skated for a very long time, excepting when we went skating two years ago with the boys once. The boys loved it and I vowed to never skate on rental skates again. I thought back then that we should maybe invest in skates, but soon forgot about it. Until the above email arrived in my mailbox. And then the need was solidified in my mind when I called our local rec centre that boasts two full sized rinks, a child sized rink and a "leisure pond" and asked about skate rentals. I was told that they don't rent skates. Great.
I've spent a fair amount of time as a parent feeling like I was playing catch up. At first it was as I fed them as infants, then discipline as toddlers and the list goes on. Constantly having to change and rethink things as I react to my children and their changing needs. I always feel frustrated that I have to react wishing I could be more on top of things and anticipate issues before they actually become issues. I've gotten better at it, but now it's entered a new realm. Now it's social. And often those social things come in the form of sports. My children being a little bit athletically disinclined like their parents (and especially their dad), make it a little harder. Call me crazy, but I hate the idea of my son, already struggling socially, to have to sit on the side while all his classmates skate during class.
And they will skate. In fact, I suspect most of these kids are either in hockey or figure skating and are largely quite proficient on the ice. It is Northern Alberta after all and I'm feeling a slight twinge of guilt not having taught them to skate sooner.
Which begs the question; what's worse? The poor kid sitting on the edge or the poor kid clinging to the boards while he unsteadily tries to maneuver his way wearing two skinny metal blades on a slippery surface?
Seems to me, being the oldest in the situation is a clear disadvantage. Now that it has finally hit home that skating is a pretty important skill to have here, we will invest in the equipment (I guess) and make it a priority to hit the ice in the winter. Nate and Finn will probably be pretty good skaters by the time they're Will's age. But as for Will, he's again going to have to play catch up as we attempt to teach him to skate. My feet hurt already.