I got the link to the Pro Pics today, and oh are they meltingly adorable. I have some great shots of Stitch with Coach at the ice door, his first "skateface" and the moment when he smiled at the judges. I can't choose, I'm just going to get the CD with all of them.
But I realized something.
In every baby picture, you're not far away. Even if you're not in the shot, your foot is, or your hand, or you're behind the camera or just out of view.
Not these pictures.
I look at these pictures of my kid doing really cool things and I know that not only am I at least forty feet away, we're separated by walls of plexiglass and Coach. If something happens, he's on his own to fix it and carry on. It's not me who decides how good of a performance he did, that's up to the judges, people I don't know and who aren't interested in me at all. He won't answer to me about his mistakes, that's Coach's job. I knew his composure fell apart a little doing the three turns, but I'd never in a million years say it to him. I'm pretty sure Coach saw it, too. I have to let her handle it.
I've told Stitch a million times that if he wants me to leave during lessons, just say so and I'll go. He says he wants me around, but I've been able to slip away without him noticing more and more frequently. My goal with running Practice Ice is to eventually reach a day where he won't need my help.
It's not that I'm uninvolved. Out of the Rink, I'm listening and advising, encouraging and doing logistics. It's when the skates hit the ice that's when I'm literally on the outside looking in. But that independence is like that day when he realized he could reach the cookies, the expression on Stitch's face was indentical to the ones in every single one of his pro pics.
The biggest grin ever.
Yup, I'm just along for the ride. Let's just hope it doesn't end up like this.