Thursday, January 16, 2014
Life Lessons Month of January: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi
Hello Little Miss Princess of the Ice!
Ellie, I was worried that I was going to have writers block this week until… yep… you, your Mommy, Aunt Sammy and I went ice-skating! As always, you are my definite ‘go to girl’ when it comes to learning a life lesson. So with that being said… here is what you taught me!
Life Lesson Learned #46: Don’t be afraid to conquer your fears!
OK… our, or rather your, first ever ice-skating attempt was hands-down the funniest experience I have encountered with you so far Ellie. Let me start from the beginning. A few days ago your Mommy informed you that ‘we’ girls were going to go ice-skating while the boys went to the PSU men’s basketball game. (Will didn’t have the option of participating in either choice, so Rachel was called in to babysit). Good thing too because if he would have went to the basketball game with the boys, his three month old frame and head would have been moving back and forth like a bobble-head doll following the team up and down the court with no knowledge of what was actually happening! And if he would have went ice-skating with us… well I don’t think they rent skates tiny enough for Will’s feet that don’t even walk yet! And that was fine because we had our hands full with you alone! You see, your apprehension of our upcoming skating afternoon started a few days ago and slowly increased as our outing crept closer. You stated that you were a bit scared. So on the morning of the big event, your Mommy thought of a great way to put your fears at ease by YouTubing some ice-skating performances. That way you could see what we four would actually be doing! … But oh your silly Mommy, what was she thinking? Those YouTube snips she chose on the computer were of Olympic Skating hopeful’s… aka, professionals! We would be lucky if we didn’t fall and bruise our bums a half dozen times, but we were definitely not telling you that! Anyway, fast-forward a few hours to when we were driving up to Penn State’s Pegula Ice Rink. Ellie, while sitting in your car seat you had that nervous/hi-low anticipation in your giggle, in your talk, and even in your sigh. Upon entering the building we paid our fee and rented skates, which you have now learned are nothing like the soft, oversized, flexible shoes you wear on a daily basis. No… these skates were made of rock hard leather that were to fit snugly and when laced, they were so stiff that you couldn’t even move your ankles. And that led to your first mild meltdown; well maybe not quite… now that I think of it, that one was your second. The first was when you were holding one of your ice-skates and accidentally dropped it on top of your foot. Oooops… (“You” and “change” don’t fare well together!) The next “change” came when you stepped onto the ice and realized that just standing on what looked to be a sheet of glass is nothing like standing on the sidewalk or your living room carpet or even a hardwood floor for that matter. And that would also be the exact moment that you remembered your fear… ice-skating is scary! So I quickly glided in behind you, bent down low and slid my arms underneath yours as I wrapped them securely around your chest. Now that I had a firm grasp on you, we slowly fell into skating with the rotation. And let me just tell you that was nooooooooooooo easy feat! Your two legs were like wet noodles, bending and turning every which way but not moving at all in the direction they were suppose to… straight forward that is! And on top of that you were crying of which totally confused me because you kept saying that you liked skating and did not want to quit!
After fifteen minutes your Mommy took over and it wasn’t long before you both fell on your bottoms.
We all tried to giggle it off as though it were no big deal Ellie, but not you. I think it helped validate your decision to start crying again. So your Mommy suggested that we stop skating. And again you yelled out between your tears, “Noooooooooo. I like skating and I am having fun!” Your Aunt Sammy, Mommy and I were completely perplexed, as well as amused with your feelings but continued skating to appease you. Every once in awhile Aunt Sammy would hold on to one of your arms while your Mommy, or me, held on to the other (between the three of us El, someone had to capture this love/hate relationship you had with ice-skating on camera, as it was that comical!).
Well, about thirty-five minutes into this fun, fun afternoon everyone skating had to clear the ice so the rink officials could sweep it. The timing couldn’t have come at a better moment as it gave you a chance to walk (with your skates on) on solid ground for a bit and purchase a hot chocolate and a cookie with Aunt Sammy.
Once you both returned to where your Mommy and I were waiting, they opened the gates for everyone to re-enter the ice rink. Ellie, I don’t know if it was the chocolate fix that you had just ingested or if it was the solid ground under your footing but when you stepped back onto the ice you stated that you were not afraid anymore. And when I hooked my arms underneath yours, this time around the rink your legs weren’t as wobbly and your feet actually faced the direction of forward (for the most part!).
Two times around seemed to satisfy your conquest when you finally said that you had had enough. Ellie, with a slight trace of the crying blotches that still dotted your face, you left that rink with a huge smile like you had just conquered the impossible. Now us three adults were thinking “one and done” but not you our little Ice princess… no, you asked if we could go again next weekend! Go figure! I guess the answer to that will be yes as long as I can unbend myself from being hunched over for so long on this fun excursion. Six days ought to do it! Till then, I will be in a warm bathtub soaking every evening!
So the lesson I have learned my little Sonja Henie… (Ellie, in case you don’t know of her, she was an amazing ice-skater back in the 1930’s who not only won multiple Olympic medals, but also brought ballet to the ice. She was dubbed Queen of the Ice and has held that honor since.) Sorry, I got sidetracked. Back to the lesson I have learned. I guess it doesn’t matter your age or your size. A real life fear is just that… real life. And the only way to get past it is to face it. You’ve given me ‘food for thought’ Ellie. I need to take a good hard look at my own fears and figure out a way to overcome them. You my precious little one did just that on the ice with an amazing amount of courage. As much as I think you really wanted to get off that ice rink El, you chose to persevere and trust your three comrades to keep you safe. I guess we must have succeeded because upon your request we will be repeating this day in the near future.
OK Ellie, this is where I normally put a closure to my blog, but right now you need to eliminate the last 10 words in the previous sentence. Before this goes to print, I must tell you about the conversation that took place between you and me after church today. Yes, it had to do with ice-skating. Here is our conversation… see for yourself why I need to retract those words!
Mimi: “So El, are we still planning to go ice-skating next Saturday?”
Ellie: “No, I don’t think so.”
Mimi: “ Oh? How come?”
Ellie: “ I have to get bigger.”
Mimi: “But I thought you were already big. You’re going to be 4 years old soon.”
Ellie: “Yeah, but I need to get bigger than that.”
Mimi: “Oh. Ok. How big do you need to be before we go ice-skating again?
Ellie: “Mmmmm… I think I have to be 15.”
Mimi: “Wow… all right. But you do know that is going to be awhile, right? What do you think we should do till then?”
Ellie: “I know, let’s go bowling. I think I can push the bowling ball pretty good. And that should be fun!”
Mimi: “Ok then. It’s a date!”
El-bean, even though another ice-skating adventure is no longer in our near future, I am still so very proud of you. It is ok to try something new and find out that you are not fond of it after all. What is important is that you faced a challenge and succeeded in seeing it through. You continue to amaze me Ellie as well as all of your family because when we least expect it, you show us a glimpse of the strong and independent individual you are destined to become!
Love you future bowling buddy!