Monday, June 20, 2011

Going For the Gold -Or Any Medal Really!

Wow! It's been so long since I've blogged. So much has happened over the last nine months. We've been incredibly busy - still, I'm mad at myself for not keeping this updated. I know my girls will love to read these stories one day and now there's a huge gap in memories. Uggh!

My last post was in September. Three months later Big B went ice skating for the first time. She was terrible, but she LOVED it! She spent two hours on the ice that first time while I reported live about the new outdoor ice rink that had come to Little Rock for the holidays. I just happened to let her go to work with me that day. Since then she has become a "competitive" ice skater. It makes me laugh. She's only competed once - but this child is in love with the sport and could spend all day on the ice if we'd let her.

It's been really fun for us to see her develop this passion. She's danced. She's taken gymnastics. But neither was something she would rather do than anything else in the world - ice skating is. I'm all about supporting my girls' dreams, but here's some advice --do your research before you introduce your child to a sport.

Here's why I probably wouldn't have chosen ice skating for her if I had put more thought into it. For one, I've learned it is one of the most expensive extra curricular activities a child can be involved in. I hear really good figure skates can cost a grand or more. What!!?!? The ones she's in now were free with lessons. New ice skating dresses average $85. We only buy used ones. The darn bag you keep your ice skates in is $155. Hers are kept in a $15 backpack right now. Holy smokes! - somebody is going to have to get a second job if we continue this and get serious about it. And when I say somebody, I mean my husband. ;) Secondly, have you ever heard of a college scholarship for ice skating? Yeah, me neither!

But here's the deal - watching your child do something they absolutely love is priceless. (Would make a great Visa commercial, huh?!?) Big B loves the ice. On some days she's been at the rink for as long as four hours straight without ever getting off the ice. She had her first show last month. She was a little lion in the Lion King and a goatherd maiden in Sound of Music. She was precious and loved every minute. We were proud! Last weekend was her first competition. And here's where we got hooked bigtime! She practiced for four weeks. Her coach choreographed a really cute routine to "I Like to Move It" from Madagascar. My child has no fear. She does not understand what nervous means. She is confident and laid back. (Everything I was not as a child.) Mostly, she just wanted a medal really bad - any medal, she didn't care.

On the day of the competition she was ready. Dressed in her little lion costume, she took the ice when her name was called. My whole family was there watching. We started clapping and cheering. She got about halfway onto the ice and wiped out. Yes, even before she started she fell down. I couldn't help but laugh. I always laugh at the worst moments. Once I got so tickled at a funeral I had leave. butshe is Big B she hopped right up with a huge smile and didn't even flinch! Her music started and she performed like it was what she was born to do. (I could be a little biased, but I don't think so.) She was so excited when she got off the ice. I gave her a big hug. It was a moment I'll remember forever.

She didn't mention a word about the catastrophe pre-preformance. She just couldn't wait til the results were announced. She waited excitedly and said, "Mommy, I really think I won the gold." She was proud. I smiled and told her how great she did, but reminded her sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I knew, though, that she had won, that she would take home the gold...not because she had done so great, but because she was the ONLY ONE in her category. ;) I kept that a secret and it made the awards ceremony so much more exciting for her. She took the top spot at the podium. I don't think I could have been prouder even if she had been on the olympic podium competiting against a thousand of the best skaters in the world. She stepped down and said, "Mommy, I just can't believe I really won the gold!"

I know one day she'll realize the agony of defeat, that she'll look back and laugh when she finds out she was the only skater in her first competition, but right now we are both cherishing this moment. She's still on a high from bringing home the gold. In fact, she's slept with that medal around her neck since she won. It makes my heart smile.

And now I've got to go. Big B is standing next to me begging to head to the rink. I'll happily turn off the computer and cultivate this dream of hers - even if there are no college scholarships for ice skating!! Why didn't we stick with golf???? I guess we're just going to have to rely on her academics to get into college. Bless her heart (and ours!)