I went skating for the first time in a long time this holiday season. We were visiting Toronto for the holidays. My dad is a lover of winter sports and has been excited to introduce his grandkids to them as well. Personally, I’m a wall-hugger at the rink. I am nowhere good enough to teach or support anyone but luckily grandpa is. Grandpa had an endless supply of patience for teaching his first granddaughter. It was lovely to see. This day I learned a lot about skating and patience.
It has been many years since I’ve gone skating. The last time I must have still been in high school, or maybe just graduated. Lucky for me, my parents still store my barely-worn skates in their basement. I definitely haven’t gone skating since I had kids of my own.
Have you ever noticed how much your perspective changes after you become a parent? You do the same activities you’ve done before or watch the same movies but suddenly you see it all with fresh eyes. You see things you’ve never noticed before. And what I saw in that cold, icy rink was heartwarming.
I saw a lot of kids and adults sticking close to the walls – I was one of them. Working hard to learn to skate, they were slowly shuffling along, their pants covered in ice shavings from falling down multiple times.
But this time, for probably the first time, I noticed the teachers. The big sisters skating slowly backwards in front of their younger sibling, their arms stretched out invitingly. The brothers skating in large groups, yelling encouragements. The parents, moving obviously slower than they’d like, but staying patiently close to their kiddos. The “great job!”s and “I’m proud of you!”s and the “you’re doing so well!”s I heard all around me.
I was inspired by the kids who got back up over and over after falling down and were encouraged to keep going. I was encouraged by their parents and siblings and grandparents who showed infinite patience. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not hear annoyed sighs or words of frustration or exasperation the entire time we were skating.
Skating is a sport that would be easy to give up on. It’s cold and skates are often uncomfortable. The slippery ice is hard when you fall and even harder when trying to get back up. But people were not giving up. They were having fun despite the cold, despite learning, despite falling. I saw a lot of family love and patience there that day and it was lovely.
Enjoyed this post? Check out this one on finding patience when your child disagrees.