Today was a very special one. My best friends son, whom I affectionately call my “nephew”, had his 7th birthday party.
When my best friend “J” told me that the first half of the party would be at a rink, I immediately thought that I would bring our oldest, Cody, on my own….leaving Evy & Lydia at home with daddy. Why, you might be asking? Because Miss Lydia naps at the time the party was to take place….
Truth be told, I was scared to even try to bring him. You see, places like this can cause him to have panic attacks: places with many people, high ceilings, and loud noises (that in turn echo off of the aforementioned high ceilings!) notoriously scare & overwhelm our darling Bug. Anywhere that combines those 3 factors, such as arenas, pools and large gymnasiums, are zones we usually avoid for his sake. In fact, just yesterday, we took him to our public pool for some “fun swim” time….and our poor little man was so distraught at the meer sight of the pool building as we parked already had him screaming and in tears. By the time we got in to the lobby, he panicked so much that he vomited in my hands. TMI for some, I know…but this is our reality sometimes, so I won’t gloss over it. Needless to say, a very large part of me was not keen to bring him along to the arena today….but you know what?
We had a village in town today.
We had my in-lawed parents here from Winnipeg to watch Lydia while we went I the party. And we had not only myself and Scott to help Evy on his first skating excursion, but also his Auntie “J” and Uncle “P” as well. I knew we wouldn’t have a village larger than this for support anytime in the foreseeable future…so, I took a deep breath, rationally reasoned with my fears, and suggested to hubby that we take Bug along. I told my fears that the worst that would happen could be that he wouldn’t calm down, which in turn would mean that I would not have force anything, and we would have made a smooth exit to wait one street over at my best friends house while her son’s party finished. I knew if there was ever a time to try it out, this was it! We tracked down Cody’s old skates and helmet from when he began to skate at almost 4 years of age, and off we went! (Not without some hesitation from me before we left, of course. Come on, what mom feels “excited” about the prospect of their child become frightened out of their tree again?!)
As we arrived, the sounds and sights of the change area in the building immediately upset our sweet little dude. He began to cry, and breath a little quicker. As I prepared myself to handle one of his possible panic attacks….something quite amazing happened: he began to look at the display cabinets full of pretty, shiny trophies, smile at himself in the reflection…and he calmed HIMSELF right down! No help needed from mom whatsoever! No 20 minute bear hug to suppress the nervous system today, not even a 2 minute one! He was fine, all on his own!
It didn’t take long before he wanted to see what was on the other side of the doors to the ice…only a few more moments before he wanted to be out ON the ice….and only a few more minutes after that for Scott & I to realize that he wasn’t just ready to be part of the action; he was ready to put on his first pair of SKATES.
Uncle “P” and I got the skates safely fastened on, and he was stumbling & flopping around on the ice, with daddy’s support, within minutes. And I have almost never seen him love anything more!! He enjoyed crawling on the ice, sitting on it, being held up on his skates, and being pushed in twirly circles on a chair! He giggled, smiled, and loved Every. Single. Second!!
He even managed to hold himself up on his skates alone for a few seconds at a time:
It felt uplifting in a way I can’t even describe; to see our darling boy enjoying something so very new, with all sorts of friends around him, sparked such joy in my heart that I may smile for weeks on end now! ❤️😃
And to feel the love of the village he had around him today, and the support we as parents also felt, was pure beauty. We are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones in this life.
Because, as you see, it really does take a village, to help a Bug learn to skate 🐛⛸