I like kids, and I worry about them. Even kids I don't really like or kids I don't know. If there's a tot on the playground climbing precariously high near me, I'm the one who puts a hand on her back to catch her if she falls. I've never had a parent complain. I offer band aids and neosporin to falls and liberally dispense hugs to kids who will take them. I don't like to see kids hurt.
Ice Skating is kinda dangerous. I know a Coach who says that it isn't a figure skating lesson until someone cries. (I say the same thing about birthday parties for the under 5 set.) It's a hard truth. No little kid is going to strap blades on their feet and go traipsing out onto ice and come out unscathed after ten weeks. I remember carrying one of Lady Cluck's daughters off the ice, bloody and crying after landing wrong on a loose tooth. Stitch has had more than his fair share of wallops and bruises. No Pre-Free Group Session went without an injury of some kind, it was just up to the coaches to determine what was serious and what wasn't. Most of the time, the knocks and dings aren't too bad.
Parents do their best to limit the damage; tots are in helmets, I've been hiding knee pads under Stitch's skating pants, bigger skaters have the super big hip pads under their tights. Toepicks become the worst enemy of any little kid, especially parents who have made the grave mistake of buying too much skate for their low level skater. Shit happens. But we can't tell the kids that, so we brush them off, dry the tears, inspect the damage, tell them they're okay and ship them back out. They toughen up eventually. It's not much worse than lacrosse, right?
Last week I was watching Other Kid in his new skates, and while I was amused, the thought hit me, "this kid is going to kill himself." He's in a class doing things he really can't do, with people who do it much better than he can, and while I give him props for trying, someday something is going to get really ugly. Watching him twist himself on his "toe loop" is like Evil Knievel. I'm worried.
But who can I tell? His mom doesn't watch his lessons anymore, nor does she sit in when he's on public skate. If I go to her, I'm Jealous Jill because Other Kid got bumped up. If I go to his Coach, I'm Wacko Skate Mom and Jealous Jill. If I say anything to Other Kid, he's going to tell me about his Toe Loop again and I may spontaneously bleed out my ears.
I really wish his mom would stay and watch her son on the Power and Flow class. Then she might see that he's outclassed, and she might do something. Then again, she might not. In the meantime, I'm going to sit and worry and have a splint kit in my purse, just in case.