On New Year's Eve, we took the boys to our local Rec Center. They were having a family night with ice skating and swimming. We were a little skeptical and was worried that it would be packed out! But fortunately the crowds were manageable and the mass of teenagers behaved themselves - ha! The boys had a blast! But of course, this isn't just a recap of what we did on New Year's. It is a story of a valuable lesson that Evan taught me. But before we get to that, I must rewind and give you some background info.
Up until last weekend, I had an irrational fear of ice skating. The thought of getting out on the ice made me break out in a cold sweat. How did this fear happen? It's not a horror story per say, but it did leave an impact. The last time I got out on the ice, I was a teenager. At least 18 years ago! I remember it being awkward and hard. I also remember not having much fun at it, once I did get the hang of it. I probably went ice skating no more than five times in my childhood. So each time I went, it took me some time to get comfortable on the ice.
I remember it was a youth group outing. After some time and some confidence boosting, I started racing around the rink with my friends. Not being the most graceful person, I lost my balance and went crashing into the wall. Going knee first into the wall, then falling on the same knee. The pain was pretty intense. I didn't need first aid, because let's face it, I was an athlete and was too proud to admit I was injured. I have had knee problems forever. It didn't help that I played basketball for 10 years nor did slamming my knee into an ice rink wall.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. Remember Evan started ice skating lessons? Fortunately an Ice Skating Angel came to the rescue. And also Jeremy came and got out on the ice with him after that lesson to get him more comfortable. Because there was NO way I was going to do it! And fortunately Evan never asked me to get out on the ice, nor did he question why I didn't. Besides I usually had Carter with me, so I had a great excuse with having to take care of him.
Fast forward to this last week. We took the boys ice skating over their break. Right before we left the house, something was said and I re-informed Jeremy that I wasn't getting out on the ice. What was he thinking? He was dumbfounded and thought I was joking. Because really, how was he going to get both boys on the rink at the same time. I didn't know and I didn't care, because this mama wasn't getting on the ice. They managed as they usually do. All three of them had a great time ice skating. I watched from the side lines. Neither boy asked me to get out on the ice!
That was until New Year's Eve. We get into the Rec center and I was in line to get all the boys' skates. Evan came over and told me I was skating too. I waved him off and reminded him that I wasn't.
Then it happened.
Side story: I'm the "bad" parent in this family. I am the one that throws Evan on a "roller coaster" aka the slow moving cars at the carnival, when he was adamently saying "no" and screaming his head off that he didn't want to go. As soon as the ride started, Evan started laughing hysterically. Afterward, grinning ear to ear, he informed me that he loved the ride. Or the time that I threw him in the water when he was too afraid to get in. Again, with the outcome of him enjoying himself. I know my child. He is his mother's child. I regret not taking more chances growing up and I am trying to encourage him not to go down that path. He is a typical first born. He is very hestitant to try anything new and usually needs to be forced into it before realizing that it's okay. He has learned to trust me. He has learned that I won't let him wuss out!
Then there was this post...back in February 2010. Evan was afraid of taking ice skating lessons, but after encouraging him to continue and not taking "no" for an answer. He continued and faced his fears.
I never thought that my little Evan would ever use my technique against me... oh I thought wrong. What was I thinking? But I guess what goes around comes around. And it came around on New Year's Eve.
After reminding him that I was not getting out on the ice. He pulled me close to him, looked me straight in the eye and said firmly, "No mom, you ARE getting some skates and ARE putting them on and GETTING out on that ice and skating with me!"
Whoa there boy! How dare you use my tactics against me! Who do you think you are? And how does a mom say no to that?
Then he went a little further and said, "mom if you fall, I will be there to pick you up! HA HA HA HA!"
Now before you think that was a sappy, sweet moment between a mother and son. Not so fast! He started giggling uncontrollably and under his breath informed me that he was hoping I would fall! What a little stinker. And I wouldn't have him any other way.
So what is a mom to do?
Yep! I had to overcome a fear! At first, I got out on the ice and remembered what Evan's teacher taught him. "Step, step, step" After several minutes and 30 or so feet, Jeremy jokingly told me to pick up the pace and start skating. I made it around the first time without holding on to the wall or falling! So thankful I paid attention to the teacher's in Evan class! Who knew they would be so knowledgeable? AFter the first time around, my fear lifted and Evan and I enjoyed skating with each other!
We laughed, we raced, we held hands.
I earned some respect on New Year's Eve. For once, I was the "fun" parent! And it felt good!