Monday, December 14, 2015

From the Sidelines

I watch them out there every week.  Skates laced tight, helmets on snug.  Concentration etched deeply on their brows as they manipulate their feet and bodies while maintaining their balance.  Arms and legs working together to achieve careful unity.  Week by week subtle improvements might be visible in one boy while another seems to still be struggling to balance properly when lifting a foot or turning precisely.  Some weeks one child will almost dazzle when he suddenly masters skating backwards.

Tonight is different.  The regular stations situated at each corner of the ice rink are left empty.  Rather than barriers, drills and practice, the ice is clear for a free skate.  It's beautiful watching them.  Amidst the skaters, small and big, skills vary over a wide degree.  Among our four boys alone, abilities and enjoyment are wide ranging.  Two short months of weekly lessons have brought dramatic changes for each of them.

Slowly their steadiness increases as their confidence grows.  From the sidelines I cannot differentiate which inspires the other - does confidence bring steadiness?   Or do they feel more confident when they achieve a greater level of steadiness?  Either way, the blossoming of success is wonderful to watch.

It was a good decision to enroll them in skating lessons this year.  When they began their abilities were mainly remaining upright and making forward momentum.  James and Morgan have quickly progressed gaining speed, fluidity and skills.  While Evan is progressing at a much slower pace, he's acquiring his own set of skills and is able to do much of what he is shown even if it is in his own awkward way.

But tonight was Nicholas's night to shine!  His determined, solid little body usually makes him appear as a tin soldier on ice skates - legs straight, arms pumping rigidly at his sides.  The moment his skates hit the ice tonight, there was a difference - he glided.  It was the first time I'd watched him move so easily across the cold surface.

At times like this I love sitting on the sidelines.  They learn, grow and accomplish while I have the great privilege of simply watching them.  So much of parenting is teaching and shaping little ones and all the joys and trials that come with it.  But sitting on the sidelines, ahhh, that provides lovely, (almost) uninterrupted moments of watching them experience their life.

1 comment:

  1. Aw...this is so sweet. What a good Momma you are, investing in your children like this. If they don't say thank you now, they certainly will later in life!!


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