First flow and moves class, I was in the stands alternating between laughing at poor Stitch's attempts at grace and being angry at his inability to pay attention to the coach. Leg me qualify this by saying that there is nothing graceful about a normal eight year old boy. That Nathan Chen kid is some kind of Cyborg. Stitch was trying, but he got confused easily, his ballet jumps needed height (what else is new) and he ended the class doing some weird mohawk-step behind-back crossover nonsense that was, no doubt, a difficult maneuver. It just was miles off from the flowing moves the rest of the class was doing.
He came to the door. "Stitch, keep your eyes on the coach. Don't hang by the boards, don't spin, don't play with ice don't drift off. Eyes on the coach."
"I can't do this."
"you can. It's your first try. You're doing fine." I didn't have the heart to tell him he was the smallest kid there.
The power class was easier. Well, not easier, but the concept of "skate fast" registered better. By the time the actual lesson rolled around I was cold beyond measure (forgot my jacket) and I was in the lobby. I chatted with some Coaches, got my fill of gossip for the week, and managed to run into Nutso.
She asked me which class was Pre-Frestyle, so I took my best guess and pointed. She got excited that there were only two kids in it.
"What level is Stitch in now?" She asked the inevitable.
"Coach said freestyle three would be best for him, but we'll see. He may repeat it, which is fine."
"Wooooow, that's amaaaaaaazing," she smiled at me.
I managed to find somewhere else to be.
Stitch came off the ice, two hours from when he started, tired but smiling.
"You did it!" I was congratulatory about his marathon session.
"MY FEET ARE COLD."
"I don't doubt it. Let's get those skates off. Did you have fun?"
I really was proud of him, despite all the trouble he had keeping up. It will come to him, the kid who I call "short legs" when he falls behind me when we're walking.
Tonight I watched the high level boy practice in anticipation of a "big" comp tomorrow. Rink Pal commented that Big Kid has come a long way in just the last year with his posture and arm position. "It just takes awhile longer with boys, to get them to do as they're told."
"Oh, I know." In fact, I can go on for days about all the trouble I have getting Stitch to do anything sometimes.
But instead of doing that, I tried some stroking using the "if it doesn't hurt, it's wrong" theory I picked up from the morning. I think I did better. I nearly tripped myself trying to glide with crossed feet, cramped my foot repeatedly going backwards at a decent clip, and generally appeared foolish for a few hours. Stitch practiced his salchows and waltz jumps for awhile, getting higher, and harassed guards. A good night.
Stitch is now passed out on the couch. Bad movie night was "Wasp Woman." Yep. I think it was a good day, and a good first day of the New Marathon Saturday. On a parting note, I will say this; it pays to be on a first name basis with the office staff, as you know whose credit cards get declined. All five of them. Beautiful.