Selam is in her third go-’round of ice skating lessons. She’s still in the pre-alpha group, though she’s absolutely on the verge of moving up to Alpha.  I feel it. Today, her teacher told her, too. There are just two skills that she hasn’t mastered: the snowplow, which is a stopping thing that she’s a little afraid of, I think, and skating on one leg.  She’ll skate on one leg, but just not for long.  

I listened to two parents talking about her. One was impressed by her. Another was annoyed because she was the most advanced member of her class and they felt she was throwing things off.


During practice time, I reminded her that she could practice her one leg skating and her snowplows.  I reminded her that the teacher said she is so close. She smiled and shook her head and took off skating backwards around the rink. Backward skating is her favorite, and probably her best skill, too. She smiles so widely, too–mugging and waving as she glides away from me.  She gets lots of attention for her smooth backward moves, too, and clearly enjoys shouting “Thank you” to her many admirers. 

Afterward I asked her why she didn’t practice her two weaker skills during practice time.  I’m not really a tiger mom–I swear–but it seems like she’s getting a little bored in the beginner class, and it’s time to move up to new challenges. 

“I already know how to fall down, Mommy.  I like practicing being good at skating backward.” 

Fair enough, kid. Fair enough. Me, too.

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