Thursday, January 20, 2011

When encouraging your 5 year old has great significance

Butterbain is bouncing out of his booster seat as we arrive.  His pulling feels stronger, guiding me into into the orange on brown skating rink.  He's the first in line to get his skates.  Yes, he wants to skate in the coon skin cap, that's what Davy Crockett would have done, after all.  His feet are swinging in time to the ubiquitous skating music as he waits patiently for his skates to be put on.  He willingly pushes hard to make sure his heel is all the way in, and skates off as soon as possible, after I remind him practicing on the carpet is easier. 

Once I lace up my skates he comes and sticks his little hand into my palm.  Pulling me, again.  This time out onto the well worn hard wood floor with it's obvious fast and slow lanes.  As we make a laborious lap with lots of pitching back and forth and near falls, he makes it to the edge and hops over the curb to take a rest.  Panting,  he comments on how hot he is, and grins big as he gingerly skates - alone - to take off the cap and get some water from mainbain.

We make lap after lap, and I realize he's DOING it.  The skating code has been cracked and as we go around one of the last times I pull my hand away and half-yell over the celebratory Cool and the Gang:  
You don't need me! 
You know how to do it!
You've got this!

I feel him hesitate, grab for the pocket of my favorite gray trousers. He looks up at me, doubtful that my mom-knows-all intuition is right about this.  I say it again:

You don't need me for this!
You can do it!
You don't need me for this!

And that's when I hesitate.  I feel the urge to take it back, to reel my words in,  to pull the hem of his favorite monkey shirt and pick him up and hold him tight in this disco ball studded moment of significance.

written in 12 minutes, linked to thegypsymama


Lindsey V said...

So precious...and I could feel your heart in that moment -- wanting to teach him and help him grow but wanting to hold him close at the same time. Beautiful!

Megan said...

All the cool kids skate in coon skin caps!


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