I dragged The Boys out of the apartment for an hour at the playground before public skate. It was warmer than it had been lately, and we all needed some fresh air and change of scenery. The Boys kicked around a ball for awhile, and Stitch delighted in rolling himself over the ball rather than kicking or chasing it. He'd drop to his knees and skid before throwing himself over it, laughing. I guess it's a good thing we didn't do Soccer.
We headed in from the chilly outdoors to the chilly indoors, putting on skates. The Public Skate was crowded, reinforcing my thoughts that Practice Ice will become necessary during these winter months. Stitch was dutiful in his "practice before you play" notion, and I didn't ask much as he'd spent a lot of time on the ice this weekend. I just asked for the basics in Beta; backwards crossovers, backwards stroking, and jumping if he felt like it. Precious, That Other One, and Shuffles played around with him, with Precious wondering at how a backwards crossover works. (It's easy to get hitched on your toepicks without the posture.) She tried a few times, and then I had both of them try backwards stroking for a lap.
Then I noticed Stitch's Friend From School. I'll call her Lucy.
Lucy is, well, a bit of a snark. She's got some attitude issues, but for some reason she and Stitch are good friends. Lucy takes Swimming, and Tennis, and she's active with her Church. She takes Group Lessons as well, and she's Gamma. That puts her a level over Stitch, and for this reason she thinks herself a better skater than Stitch. (I disagree. On public ice, she scootches along on one foot, she doesn't have any semblance of stroking technique. Anyway...) Lucy's been showing up on the Sundays quite a bit recently. Over the summer, we never saw her, but ever since the competition, we've seen her just about every Sunday and her folks got her a skating pass. Lucy never fails to attempt to upstage Stitch. It's true, she can do a one foot spin and a catch blade spiral. She's stronger in her back crossovers. Stitch gets discouraged at this, and it's made worse by her snotty attitude about it. In fact, I'd lump her and Precious in the same boat when it comes to the Snot Factor.
But today, Lucy was sticking with some other girlfriend of hers and not paying much mind to Stitch. This was fine with me. Lucy scooter pushed around with her friend, hung on the boards, and sat in the bleachers with their skates dangling. I came up to rest a bit and get away from the crowd, and chatted with Lucy's mom awhile. Something is up with Lucy.
Lucy's mom rolled her eyes at the idea of doing the ice show, then mentioned that one of the coaches suggested Lucy take privates. Hm, I happen to know this coach and I know that she wouldn't recommend it unless Lucy wasn't up to the task of Gamma. (And if I'm wrong, then my opinion of this Coach just changed dramatically.) Lucy's mom asked me what rates are, and I explained that it varied from coach to coach. I said that I might take up practice ice if the public ice kept on being so crowded and useless. Lucy's mom then asked me about Practice Ice. But then, after all that, Lucy's mom rolled her eyes and said, "It doesn't matter, she's not competing or anything."
"Yes, well, Stitch seems to enjoy competition and he and Coach will begin work on the new routine in December. I'm kind of anxious for Ice Show to be over, so we can move on."
"Yeah, we're not doing that."
"Well, this seems like Stitch's sport of choice, so I'll support it as best I can. It won't be easy," I was thinking about morning ice options, when it became apparent that Lucy's mom was done with this conversation. I excused myself to the ice. Lovely thing, really; being a parent in skates. I can escape.
Hm. Again, something is up with Lucy.
Lucy and her mom left at resurface. Precious and family also left at resurface. Stitch kept skating, whizzing around and gathering snow on his blades. But after awhile I could see he was getting tired so I asked him if he was done. He feigned sleep.
I guess this is his sport of choice. It's a Sport for him. This is what I wanted. This isn't about costumes and music, it's a Sport where they happen to wear costumes and need music. I wouldn't think twice about spending money for him to be on some kind of ball team. He just doesn't want to be on a ball team. He wants to figure skate. What kind of parent would I be to not encourage and enable this great athletic activity? Let the naysayers, downers, the crabs, the homophobes, and the people who think I'm mad in my quest for Olympic Gold do and talk and think as they please. All I know is that I walk home with a little boy who waltz jumps down the sidewalk, spins in my kitchen, and loves the fact that I sew for him.
And can I state that Hockey Dads are way worse than Figure Skate Moms? Today, I counted no fewer than five unhappy little girls in hockey skates with Hockey Dads shouting at them. They were shuffling along, clearly their first time on the ice, and looking mournfully at the pretty white Riedells of the other girl skaters doing spins and crossovers. Why is is acceptable, even uber-cool for a girl to play hockey, yet it's Taboo for a boy to Figure Skate?