For Reece's 9th birthday, I asked her what she wanted for her present. She said she wanted to go ice skating. Well, that wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting or hoping for. I tried to talk her out of it several times to no avail. The girl wanted to go ice skating.
I didn't want to take Riley with us, either, because Reece is having a real challenge with feeling inept especially with performance-based situations. Riley has been ice skating a few times and she usually picks up things easily, so I was afraid that it would be a problem. Unfortunately, Reece really wanted Riley to come along with us.
We got to the arena, rented skates, and got on the ice. Riley took off. Reece clung to the wall and dragged herself along. She was slipping and she was not having a good time. Then she started clinging one hand to the wall and one hand to me, getting me to hold her up. About this time, a tiny little girl who was obviously still in diapers, came out onto the ice and started skating and spinning around! She was wearing a tutu, which didn't help matters. Reece was UPSET, with a capital U. She wanted to go HOME. She hated ice skating and she wanted to go home NOW.
I told her that we were going to stay through the session because I had paid a lot of money for it, and I knew that she could skate if she would keep at it. We had only been on the ice for 15 minutes. I didn't really know how to help her learn to skate, but I watched a teacher giving a lesson and attempted to do what she was doing. I made Reece let go of the wall and just get her balance on the ice. Once she could do this, I encouraged her to try to take a few steps.
I just have this one picture because I actually forgot my camera at home - this was taken with my cell phone. But as you can see, she is doing it! By the end of the first hour of the session she was moving around on her own. By the end of the second hour, she was really moving around. She had also met two girls who were there celebrating one of the girls' birthdays... a year younger than Reece exactly.
So now I have a 9 year old girl who learned that she could do things if she didn't give up. I hope that I will soon have a girl who can see other people excel at things without feeling like she is a failure herself. I don't know if that's developmental... if it's an autism thing... personality, whatever. It's making life very challenging right now! Every single time we leave the house, we have a meltdown. So the sooner we can get through this, the better!
I also have a 9 year old girl who will be taking group homeschool skating lessons beginning this Friday! She ordered her own ice skates over the weekend and I am praying that they will arrive in time! I am nervous about the skate lessons, and especially about them being group lessons, for the aforementioned troubles we have been having. But Reece is very anxious to get out and try new things. So I'm going to let her give it a shot!