For the first six months, I didn't even know about Practice Ice. When I learned about it, I thought it was tres cool but then learned of level divisions and felt shut out. I did Privates during Public Ice because that's all I thought I could get to. During the second six months, I was buying coupons for those one-off days with Coach, because Coach made me familiar with what I really could get to, and the Practice Ice "open sesame" really happens with a Coach. Never having a real "set" schedule never bothered me, because as an Entertainment Family, we never really have a set schedule, either. I did have regular practice ice at Rink Across Town, and that was great.
Parents, I'm going to say a hard truth; After Beta, it's just not going to happen without regular practice. The ranks of PreStyle Skaters drop dramatically after Beta, with a Beta Class maybe at ten kids, and a Delta Class at two. Like Lucy (who spent two rounds in Gamma before quitting) and her mom (who blamed the two rounds on Lucy and the Coaches), people don't seem to get that there's two pieces of the skating pie that the Group Class Coach isn't responsible for; those are Practice and Individual Effort. Practice Ice has nothing to do with your "Competitiveness" or how much your kid is "into it," and doesn't mean you're gunning for a National Champion. Practice Ice is the simple notion that you can't learn to skate if you aren't on the ice. Do Public Ice, do Practice Ice, but Do Ice.
Now that I have that Rant out of me, I was debating which slot to buy for this session. I called Coach to ask her advice, but she only called me back when it was too late. Dad had deposited to forms which I left for him on the TV. I told her to go grab the form and pick the date she wanted. She told me that if I wanted to do ice on that other day, I didn't need to worry about registering for it, no one was on it anyway. I made a mental note for myself.
As I hung up, I realized that this was the first time she was heavily into my practice ice buying, which had been just "buy a coupon and figure it out later." She was also planning on making this our new lesson time. It had to be, Stitch was banished from Learn To Skate ice, which was why Saturday mornings fell out of the picture. That had never occurred to me. (I hated that old time anyway. Vehemently. Hated. I can say that now that it's over.)
I'm also remembering sitting in the stands, making small talk with Other Moms. It makes my skin crawl. Don't get me wrong, I like other people. I love to talk. But there's only so much talking about skating parents can do without edging into the Comparing Children territory which gets uncomfortable. Especially since Stitch will have dropped a level or two behind thanks to the Summer Hiatus. (I saw MiniFab grabbing her skate and bringing to her head level on Sunday and doing some weird Spin/jump thing. But then, MiniFab has the focus of a laser beam. I don't expect that from Gordon who has the attention span of a squirrel.) I don't know why we can't talk about something else. But, as it happens, I won't be in the stands this time. The Practice Ice session Coach wants falls smack during the Adult Class I want to take. HA!
I'm effectively gone tomorrow. I leave from work, on to my own Vacation. I'm reprinting the form and telling Dad to drop it off with a new Check. Instructions to Coach: Use if you need it, void and destroy if you don't. It's an act of trust, one of those acts I'm finding happen a lot at the rink.
If anyone has any thoughts as to any stretching or bodywork I can do while I'm gone, I'm all ears. Stitch and I can do it together on the beach. Primarily, Shoot the Duck. He needs to get his Shoot the Duck in order. It's the only directive I had from Coach over summer. Looks like I'm going to have to start listening to her.