Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let's hear it for the Boys

There are just not a lot of boys in Figure Skating. It's plainly unusual here.

Yesterday Stitch dragged both me and Dad to both sessions of public skate. The early afternoon was booked with everyone who decided not to join the Black Friday flocks, which pleased me but made for crowded ice. A few of Stitch's friends were there, and he was dutifully impressive with "just gliding around," as he put it. And of course there were a lot of hockey boys around. A lot. Hockey boys and a Hockey Dad in full Goalie Gear. Ugh. Stitch and I passed by him at one point, and another parent commented on Stitch's ice abilities. "You're so good," the mom said.

"Thanks," replied Stitch.

Goalie Dad guffawed and hitched up his leg pads. "Purty soon he'll be in THESE!"

"Don't count on it," I replied, but it fell on deaf ears. Everyone was at once convinced that Stitch was a budding Hockey player. No one listened to me as I said that he wanted to Figure Skate. Goalie Dad was leading them on. I just let it go. Rink Pal surprised me with a Thanksgiving flower arrangement, which was absolutely delightful. I have to keep bringing them cookies!

That night there were more hockey kids. Hockey kids and Teenagers, which are just as bad. Fortunately at Stitch's age, the hockey boys are oblivious to their Dad's prejudices and make friends pretty easily. Stitch was soon running around with some of the little ones, showing off his tricks and speed. The Teenagers were a different story.

Remember the boy who said he was going to competition tryouts? He was there. Let's call him PrepSchool, because he always wears a faux PrepSchool jacket. PrepSchool is about two years older than Stitch. He's started taking privates as well, and is about a hair close to landing a waltz jump. He's got the confidence to try, but he falls a lot and is still very ungainly on the ice in general. PrepSchool is just old enough to stick himself in with the teenagers, and they were egging him on to try his tricks for them. They were texting and gabbing and acting uber cool, and PrepSchool seemed to enjoy being their entertainment. I felt silly for him.

Stitch got tired, so we left a bit early. He had Ice Show rehearsal in the morning.

So, sure enough this morning, he woke up and put on skating clothes. I brought the pants I'd sewn for the other boys to test size and length. The boys were (as always) fast and furious and hard to round up. Typically there are two or three coaches out there, today there was just one. Shuffles finally joined the group, and as predicted, he was a boat anchor as well as being completely lost. Ah well, there's nothing at stake here but cuteness.

There are only twelve boys in the Ice Show, and those twelve represent all of the Boys in the Pre-Alpha through Pre- Freestyle levels of the skating school. So, we have boys who can waltz jump and boys who still struggle to do swizzles in the same routine. Needless to say, it's a bit lopsided and uncoordinated. This is why I have doubts about putting Stitch in the Spring show. It's not worth my time or money to put him in a routine that isn't challenging. I'd much rather invest that time and money in competition.

Richie Rich was there, and his mom and dad were lofted in the rafters in their full-length furs. Another mom and I lamented the loss of the concession stand, closed for the holiday or something. Richie and Stitch did some talking, and then Richie seemed to delight in cutting off Stitch in the line to the circle. The rehearsal ended, with Stitch coming off the ice panting, "Must... skate... more..."

"We can come back for public skate later," I promised.

Afterwards, Other Mom and I headed out to change out of skates and try on pants. Imagine my shock when I saw a pair of bare girl legs sticking up from a bench. Bare Girl legs, and when I passed by, I saw a Dad with Mondor tights, which were going on over a Pull -Up Diaper. This girl was four, had to be four. I walked away.

Other Boy tried on his pants for me, so I could get the length. Richie's Mom and Dad hung out, waiting for Coach Diamond. Apparently they were having a lesson that day. Prep School and his mom showed up. Prep School is not in the show, but he was getting his lesson that day anyway while we can still get ice. I have to wonder if this is our competition; Richie Rich and Prep School. If so, it would be Richie Rich that I fear the most.

I told Other Mom to spread the word about me sewing. "Sure. But I don't know how much longer he'll be doing this. He wants to play hockey."

I sighed.

We watched a bit of the Men's Freeskate this morning from Paris. Stitch watched awhile and then said that he wanted to win more trophies. I reminded him that January 23rd is his next chance, and he and Coach will start working on the next program in December. Stitch definitely has a competitive streak, which will serve him well. Now that he knows he's got some skill, all he needs is confidence to see it through, and ignore the naysayers and Hockey dads who might convince him otherwise.

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