One Proud Mama

I am not your stereotypical soccer mom.  Nor am I a softball mom, gymnastics mom, or dancer mom.

Sports of any kind scare me.  I think my brother scarred me for life when his athletic arms swung the bat on a pitch I threw him.  The baseball hit me square between the eyes, knocking me out.  I woke up staring up at the sky, and I haven’t been the same since!

So it was with a great deal of trepidation that I toed my way into the ice skating arena when my daughter wanted to learn how to ice skate about two years ago.  In the beginning, neither of us knew what a crossover was, but with persistence and dedication, she began learning:

Her coach has since taught her many more skills since then; it is fun to look back at what she did then and compare it to what she is working on now:

In these two years, she has gained confidence — and I have gained a tremendous respect for figure skaters in general and especially for my daughter. Her commitment to learn is beautiful to see, and I am proud of her for pushing herself beyond what she thought she could accomplish. She’s been living at the ice rink all summer.  If I let her, she’d probably like to bring her sleeping bag and camp out every night so she could get back on the ice bright and early every morning.  Ok, so maybe not early morning!

This week we will be practically living at the rink as she practices for an upcoming ISI competition next week in which she skates three events. I am so proud of her determination!

I see other moms at the skating rink covertly sending coaching signals to their skating children (parents aren’t supposed to coach from the sidelines unless they themselves are contracted coaches).  These moms understand the convoluted lingo and are able to discern the difference between a lutz jump and a flip jump as well as critique the technique.

That kind of mom isn’t me.  I let the coach be the coach because I know I am way out of my league.  My goal through this entire experience is that my daughter will “own” this herself without any pressuring from me.  She skates because skating is as essential to her as breathing, and I watch her and take photos from the sidelines with awe and appreciation for how far she has come.

Besides, I love the skating dresses, like this borrowed one, that she will wear for one of her competitions:

I also like to admire her stance:

considering that if I were the one standing up on the ice about to enter a spin, my position would be much less than elegant.  Like bottom on the ice.  My husband and I joke that if we took a couples skating class, we would be couples crashing rather than skating!

But most of all, I love watching her emotions play upon her face.  I see it all right as she experiences it — intense focus and concentration, disappointment, and, my favorite,

J-O-Y!

Break a skate this week, as they say, my sweet girl!  I may not be the stereotypical Skating Mom, but I am One Proud Mama indeed.

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