Not All Lessons Are Taught By Parents

Stuart - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 13, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family

I believe not all lessons in life are taught by parents.

This past weekend my daughter, Noa, and I were heading to an ice skating party for five year olds.

The majority of children at the party have skated together every Friday.   My daughter has never been on skates, and as for me, it has been 15 years, which by deduction makes the 5-year old kids more proficient.

We get geared up. Some of the children are skating independently and others are skating holding onto this blue a-framed metal contraption, similar to a walker used by the elderly. Not to self-promote, but I give myself credit for being one of two parents on the ice. You know, the crazy ones that double checked their life insurance policies before the party.

Even with the a-framed walker, Noa is wobbling like a lego tower with one block too many.  She is a trooper; I think she wanted to turn back, but just decided to go with it.

We do a lap and she is getting the hang of it…a little. I, however, am not doing as well. The pain in my feet is brutal. There is clearly a reason I stopped skating 15 years ago.  I endure like any parent would.

Noa skates over to the birthday group. One of the girls comes forward and says “I can skate without that blue thing.” Thunk….did you hear my heart hit the floor?

My daughter turns around and heads the other way.

The two of us continue doing our laps, my daughter with her blue a-frame, me right behind her. My feet send me a reminder to get off the ice.  I tell her daddy is taking a break and she replies, “It’s ok. I’ll keep going alone.”  

I begin to notice that Noa is gradually trying to step away from the a-frame.  I ask, “Do you want to skate without the a-frame?” She reaches for my hands.   We skate awkwardly, she falls.  I figured that was the end of the experiment.  However, we do this two more times.  I go to take her hands and she says, “Daddy I want to try it alone.”

She looks a little awkward, but she is getting it.  She is skating on her own, catching her balance, moving around the ice.  Then I take just one hand and we start skating together.  Whoosh!! We are moving fast, she is faster than I am.  She sees her mother and starts waving. She is so excited. Boom- we fall right on our tails!  We are laughing. We get up and do it some more.  Unfortunately, my foot is throbbing and I hit the sidelines.

I watched my daughter and at that moment I couldn’t help but swell with tears of pride.  It was not so much that she was able to do it (I won’t lie, I’m a competitive person, and I was happy she was able to achieve success), but more that she had the courage to try.