It’s not often when I have a parenting moment that feels just right.
When I’m not second guessing myself or wishing this or that had gone a little differently.
On Saturday, I took my youngest ice skating for the first time. It was a bit of an adventure, just him and me, driving an hour away to go to a party for one of his best buddies.
He’d never been on skates of any kind and while ice skating was the cool thing to do on the weekends back when I was in junior high, that was well over 20 years ago.
We were getting one on one time, something that’s hard to come by when you have three kids who are all close in age.
He confidently stepped out onto the ice and promptly fell on his behind while I cautiously stepped out and somehow managed to stay upright.
I taught him the basic movements and he quickly caught on, though a big thanks goes to the ice skating “walker” he was using.
I stayed by his side, though after a while, he told me he had it and it was okay for me to skate on my own. I skated a little ways away from him, where I could still see him, but give him confidence that he was doing it all on his own.
I tried to capture the joy on his face, though mostly he was blur, so I put my camera away, after I at least got proof he was upright on the ice to be able to show his dad and brothers later.
When he got tired, he didn’t want to sit down, but rather asked if I could push him, after he saw some other parents holding the back of the walkers and scooting their kids quickly around the ice. “Faster, faster!” he yelled while we circled the rink.
It was a good moment.
A great afternoon, a memory.
But then it was break time and everyone had to get off the ice.
His friend’s mom found us and told me that all the other moms were sitting in the snack area if I wanted to join them once the kids were back on the ice.
Oh, I thought, this is why I don’t make mom friends.
They’re all in there chatting away, getting to know each other, or deepening already existing friendships, and I’m out on the ice. And I knew I wouldn’t be heading in with them.
You might call it hovering, but this was the first time my 6 year old had ever skated. Though he was doing impressively well for his first time, he still occasionally fell. And though my days of ice skating were well in the past, I can still remember seeing ugly pile ups where one child fell and the kids skating behind him weren’t able to stop or swerve in time. And that ice and those skates can really hurt. So I couldn’t see myself going where I couldn’t see him at all.
And we were having fun out there on the ice. Even when he wanted to show me that he could do it all on his own, I could still him looking for me, making sure I saw when he was doing a good job, smiling big and laughing.
I didn’t want to miss that.
That moment felt right.
Felt right for me.
Because even though I wouldn’t have changed that afternoon, it doesn’t mean those other moms weren’t doing what felt right for them.
Some of them had kids who were amazing at ice skating, who had older siblings out on the ice, who hadn’t had a moment to themselves all week and they were taking it when they could.
I’ve been there, where one of my kids is doing an activity that I’ve seen them do a million times, when I have another child I have to keep an eye on, when there’s someone else who’s temporarily in charge of my child, when my husband has been out of town for a week and I just wanted a break.
It’s not like they were asking me to watch their kids, so it really didn’t affect what I was doing out there on the ice with my own child.
*Shrug* To each, their own, in a given situation. No judgment here.
But when we joined the rest of them later, it felt very much like oh, why would you skate when you could have been in here? Why wouldn’t you want to sit and talk with the other moms?
Odd mom out.
And for a moment I questioned if I should have tried to join them.
But I know in a different group of moms, I wouldn’t have been the only one out there. It’s not like I was doing something weird by choosing to skate.
And just because I happened to be the odd mom out in this situation shouldn’t put a damper on what felt like a really great moment with my son.
So, I didn’t let it.
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