Does the fact that we’ve never encouraged our kids to learn to skate make Hubby and I terrible Canadians? We haven’t actively discouraged them from learning – every winter we take them out on the canal a few times, and we go skating on the Rink of Dreams at City Hall now and then. But to be honest, we’d really prefer not to get up before dawn to go hang out in a freezing arena, and the time and financial commitment required for either child to play on a competitive team or – heaven forbid – a travelling team fills us both with horror. Not to mention the potential scheduling issues caused by having only one car.
We might not have encouraged them to become great skaters, but we did agree that if they showed an interest we’d support them. They never have until a few months ago, when Bonhomme suddenly announced, “I want to play hockey.” As if they’d choreographed it, B.G. chimed right in, “And I want to be a figure skater.”
Besides that whole knowing-that-I-don’t-want-to-be-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn-on-a-weekend thing, I don’t know much about the logistics of participating in either sport. I assumed that a basic ability to skate was probably a prerequisite, and I had a brilliant idea: I told them that I’d sign them up for skating lessons and that if those went well, next fall we’d sign B.G. up for figure skating and Bonhomme could play hockey. I was thinking that if it was anything like music lessons, Jiu-Jitsu, dance, and the million other activities they took an intense but short-lived interest in, this too would pass.
Now it seems that things might be different this time. Every week Bonhomme heads out onto the ice for his skating lesson, and he is In. The. Zone. I’ve never seen him work so hard or so consistently to master something. It only took him a few lessons to go from barely-able-to-propel himself to doing small jumps on his skates. B.G. isn’t as focussed during her lessons, but she’s been hanging out at the rink in our local park and making good progress too.
I’ll feel very Canadian as I spend weekend mornings in the freezing arena bleachers next winter. I’ll be sure to stop at Timmie’s for an extra-large double-double on the way to the rink.