Aww, my sweet little boy. Ever since he was little, I've been there to wipe every tear and kiss every boo-boo. I've watched him like a hawk as he climbed the heights of the playground equipment, my heart thudding in my chest lest he should fall. I'm there at his bedside with a cool cloth and Tylenol to soothe every fever. I wake up at the slightest cough, at the ready with medicine and a sweet caress. It pains me to see him hurt, my every instinct crying out to ensure that no harm comes his way and that he never bruises, bleeds or so much as weathers a rainy day without copious amounts of ice cream to make the sun come out again.
And then we we started skating.
Every weekend I send out my precious living porcelain figurine out to traverse a sheet of ice on two 1/4" blades of steel. Not only is he expected to stay upright, he's expected to swizzle, turn, jump, go backwards, and spin. And the weekend is not complete unless there are tears and bruises. Every time he falls, I will swoop in, drag him off the ice as he performs his Boneless routine, and comfort him with kisses and ice cream.
This weekend was K's first outing on Practice Ice alone. I was in the stands, trying to read and just ignore him as he "practiced." He fell. He sat there and wailed. There was no one to help him. I stood up and motioned for him to "GET UP!" My Inner Rabid Parent was clamoring to leap over those glass partitions and swoop down from on high to save my delicate baby as he sat and cried amidst the whirl of blades and careless girls. For the first time in my parenting career, I was utterly helpless to save my child, and it felt terrible. Coach Y was out there, and she spotted him. She called to him, "are you hurt?" He shook his head. Dramatics, then. She then told him to get up, and get to the hockey box. He got up, and went to her.
After she got done with her student, she then began with K. It was as though the fall never happened. K forgot about it. His lesson went well, but I got distracted by the girl in the harness on the other end. I looked over in time to see K perform his first three backwards crossovers. (Hooray!) Coach Y gave me some papers on the November Competition (more on that later), and then told K he should practice more. So I sent him back out with a short list of things to do before we left.
Three Bunny Hops in, he fell again. And he sat there. And wailed. Not only was I not there, Coach Y was not there, either. I stood in the door and held up my foot, which was skateless. "I can't help you," was the message. "GET UP!" I shouted. He got up, and skated over to the door, where I swooped him up with motherly hugs and promises of ice cream.
This is awful. How many times am I expected to watch MY BAYBEEEE fall and hurt himself? How many times can he pick himself up? I see the bigger kids take some really hard falls, and they dust themselves off like this is just a normal part of their day. Part of me really wants a kid that can take some serious lumps without flinching, but the other part of me is screaming, "NOOOOOO!!!!" The other thing is, anyone claiming that Figure Skating is for effeminate boys obviously hasn't seen the black and blue aftermath of a really good skating session.