I joined Sara's Girl Scout troop for their roller skating party. To clarify, I did NOT look like Olivia Newton-John whirling around on roller skates with her hair flowing around her. The experience was like child birth. There was bad lighting. I checked my dignity at the door and put my body in to unnatural positions. It was painful and awkward. It is most definitely NOT like riding a bike. You DO forget how to skate. Did those hideous faux suede monstrosities always weight 20 lbs? I clutched the wall and hobbled around the rink slower than an octogenarian with a walker.
Sara was a trooper. She straps on roller skates twice a year, at most. Some of these girls looked like they were ready for the Olympics. Sara stomped around the rink and fell down a lot. But she didn't get frustrated, upset or even embarrassed. (Very unlike me, I made the other moms stash their cameras and sign non-disclosures before I left the rink). She would wipe out, laugh, get up and skate/hobble off. She never gave up. She asked me to skate with her. Despite my lack of athletic prowess and basic coordination, I readily agreed. I know she is coming to the age where parents are an embarrassing necessity of life. We had a blast skating together. She encouraged me and said all the things we say to them when they are trying something new and difficult. I guess she does listen sometimes.
I was proud of her. She didn't quit when it was hard or she saw better skaters. She didn't whine and fuss when I told her no to buying all the junk for sale behind the counter. When I said no to the arcade games, she shrugged and headed for the snacks.
When the party was over, she took off her skates, thanked the clerk and troop leaders. On the way home, I asked her if she had fun. She said she had a great time and it didn't matter if she is a good skater. Proud moment. Then, being Sara, she informed me that she "would be even better and have even more fun if she practiced a lot". The kid has a point. But, I'm sitting on the sidelines next time.