The Chaos

The Chaos

Monday, August 10, 2009

Penalty Box?

Recently our little band of Gaffner's made the one hour trip North to Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty University was hosting an Alumni Chapter Launch Party and we were invited (cause I'm an alumni, YIPPEEE). They had a variety of bouncey activities to which the kids were thrilled to see! We spent time on those as well as exploring some of the new facilities, including the indoor soccer facility and the new Snowflex Mountain (ie... see snow tubing in flip flops, very cool).

But by far the one activity that will forever be imblazoned in my memory, was the ice skating center. I have had the joy of ice skating a grand total of 4 times in my life, 4 times being not exactly a seasoned ice skating pro. However, my 3 oldest children had never been and so compared to them, I was bound to be a pretty good skater.

Getting ready to ice skate is anything but simple.

First... you have to figure out what size skate you need.

Second... you have to wait for the rink staff to locate the 4 pairs of necessary skating shoes.

Third... you have to force your children's feet into said skating shoes

Fourth... you have to tightly tie and secure skates on 6 little feet

That last step takes approximately half an hour.

(okay I exaggerate, but it did take a full 15 minutes).

Next... you have to make it from the waiting room/preparation room/snack room to the actual rink.So let's picture this:

Michael is holding the 3 month old while I am standing on two little blades and doing my best to keep 3 little people from crashing on their bums. We took barely 10 steps when Dean began to yell at the top of his lungs "TAKE THEM OFF, TAKE THEM OFF, TAKE THEM OFF". Apparently the time spent putting on and lacing up his skates, was a waste because they were off before his eyes ever saw the rink.

Tyler and Sierra seemed to be still trucking along, though Sierra was noticeably unsure.

We neared the rink and Tyler, holding onto the wall, glided onto the ice.

She was wobbly. She was a bit nervous but she was smiling.

Sierra placed one step on the ice and begain to wail.

I encouraged my youngest daughter to continue to move and she and I began to creep along the wall, slowly gaining on her sister. By the time we had skated a mere 3 feet, Sierra was in full crying mode. Not yelling or screaming just the small dramatic wimpers of the 4 year old princess. I knew we would not make it around the entire rink. But going back was not an option either as the rink was quickly filling up with other young ones also holding onto the wall for their dear lives.

Tyler spotted a door up ahead and so we figured getting Sierra off the ice was our best bet. We arrived at the door to discover it was not a way out but the penalty box. Sierra shuffled off the ice and took a seat, a sobbing, sad mess.

Tyler and I continued to skate. Tyler fell. And fell. And fell some more. But never once cried.

She was nervous, sure. She was an amateur, sure. But she had fun.

Sierra meanwhile sulked in the penalty box, a slave to her discomforts. Nervous about trying something new. And having an awful time just watching.

Who are you more like...Tyler or Sierra?

Do you embrace new experiences no matter your nerves or uncertainities?

Or do you sit on the sidelines, sulking and disappointed?

I will never forget that day and I hope that as Sierra grows and matures she learns to embrace the new things and find confidence in trying something different.

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