My legs had the shakes, so I didn't have on skates. This happens from time to time; my muscles feel weird and I'll just feel shaky in general. Friday night at Public it started, and I felt like I was about to go down every few seconds. Today was similar, so I sat this one out.
Stitch was playing ambassador to all the small children with new skates for Christmas. He was coaxing them to come off the wall, talking about his lessons and his coach. He was handing out candy canes. (We have tons.) Generally being a very good boy, and the other moms were loving him. I filled in Stitch's gaps when the moms asked me; Group Lessons, Private Lessons, Ice Time and so forth. Honestly, I hated sitting in the stands with the other moms. It's all, yup, here I am, sitting and watching. Doo-da-doo. Stupid legs.
Gordon was there. He was working on three-turns, looking a bit lost, and eventually he and Stitch ran into each other. They talked and played for awhile before Coach called her students into the small rink for a bonus session. They each did their programs (I'm learning) and I couldn't help but notice that Stitch seemed to be doing his program at a higher level. He also has the best spin. Every skating parent website out there tells you to not compare your kid to others, but I don't see how this is possible. Gordon was cheating his forward crossovers, the girl was doing great but didn't do her awesome spiral, and Stitch was hopping, one-foot spinning and lunging like it was his job.
Gordon's mom came over to the window, and like true skating parents we were both face-mashed into the glass for awhile. I finally decided I was done looking foolish and introduced myself. "Oh," said Ms. Gordon. "Yes, we've seen you. Your son is very talented."
"Thanks. He really enjoys it. Yours is doing some good work, too."
What followed was a conversation wherein I learned: Gordon has been skating for three years. He started in the Tot level, and was suddenly zoomed up to Gamma once he hit six. Gordon's mom had the plan that Gordon learn to skate so he would be knowledgeable on dates. All this, she claims, is a surprise. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think many people plop their three year old in a Tot Class with the foresight of their future significant others in mind. Gordon's mom cannot sew. Gordon's mom only skated once a week until Gordon started competing, and she really hates the practice ice schedule. "I mean, I don't want to be here too late or too early. That's just not right."
"Well, coming from the theatre, really late and really early is just par for the course. You deal with it. Nutella sandwiches help."
We then talked about Spring Show, how I don't plan on doing it if Stitch will be just doing swizzles and wiggles (Sorry. I'm just so done with swizzles.) and Gordon's mom saying that it was "cute."
"They wore sunglasses at the end."
"Yeah, I think Stitch would like to actually skate, not wiggle."
"Oh, but he'll be in freestyle soon," she says. "They might pass him up faster. It happens."
"We'll see. Whatever happens, happens."
"Oh, no. They will. He's got a lot of natural talent."
"No, he just skates a lot. You should bring Gordon more, they can play together. The boys need to stick together."
Then she rants off again into how horrible it is to spend the day at the rink. (I think there's a stack of free books at the door for a reason. There may as well be a sign; "PARENTS. YOU WILL NEED ONE.")
We had errands to run after skating. Stitch was really upset when we got into the car.
"Honey, what's wrong?"
"No, really. What's wrong."
*sniffle* "I didn't get a chance to play."
"I'm sorry. I thought the bonus lesson would only be a half hour. I'm really sorry it ate up Public Skate time. How about on Sunday I leave you alone for the entire time. No practicing if you don't want to."
So, while Stitch may be full of "Natural talent," he is still a little boy. And again, while I'm sure that if we stuffed his days full of lessons he certainly would be in Freestyle soon, I have no desire to rob him of his boyhood. He's friggin' seven. We have lots of time, folks.