Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Parenting Quirky Little People

These little people sure have minds of their own.  As a parent, I think it's my responsibility to try to make them healthy and strong in both body and mind so they can be themselves and live their own dreams.  I'll admit that sometimes it's really hard to help them be themselves instead of who I want them to be.  Case and point:
 Creed wants to become a figure skater.

It's certainly not what I have in mind for his future, but I want him to be happy, and who am I to squelch something that he may be amazing at or he may fall in love with (even if a little part of me is really hoping this is just a phase)? He has been constantly begging for ice skating lessons since he was two and our neighbors told him about their lessons.  I insisted that he was much too little at the time, you can't start lessons until you are three.  At three I told him it was really hard and asked if we could put it off a little longer.  I was afraid I would pay for six weeks and then he would hate the first lesson, and I would have to drag him there every week or waste the money.

Well, this summer, as I was registering him for soccer this fall, I noticed the summer session for ice skating was just starting at a nearby rink, and he would only have one other child in his class.  I figured, if this was really what he wanted to do, this would be the best opportunity for him to start.

He was thrilled.  His instructor asked him if he wanted to learn to skate so he could be a hockey player and he gave her a weird look and explained, "No, I wanted to be a figure skater!"  I think she fell instantly in love.

He got out on the ice and fell and fell and fell and when the lesson ended, you couldn't wipe the grin off of his face. Our whole family has been there at times supporting him.
 Larry took him to the last lesson of the session. When Creed cried at the end because he didn't want his lessons to be over, Larry signed him up for the next session.
 He was so excited to get back on the ice this week.  They skipped him up a few levels so he's in a class with two girls who are nine and eleven. And since I'm there for 45 minutes every week, I'm taking lessons at the same time too because I might as well get a little exercise out of it.  While I don't think I have to love everything that he loves, it's nice to give it a try to be supportive too.
 So we made it a date that ended with Creed's restaurant pick
 and my favorite neighborhood ice cream shop.

So every week we head to ice skating, and quite regularly we get weird looks when Creed talks about being a figure skater, but truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I think the fact that he's having fun doing what he wants to do, even if it's not the popular choice, is the best lesson he can learn. And seeing how happy he is doing something I wouldn't have chosen for him is one of the best parenting lessons that I've learned so far.


Anna said...

I think you're really good at this. I've noticed through your posts that Creed is a really unique (and awesome) kid. I'm glad you let him be himself. It's a good example for those of us just getting started in parenting.

Can't wait to see Creed in the Olympics...of only his middle name were Danger, that would be pretty awesome over the loudspeaker at an arena.

Erin said...

Yeah, PJ wants to be an actor, and is VERY committed. I'm like, ?????????????? It is basically the same thing as figure skater, except there is very little skill involved, lots of admonishment by "professionals" in "the business," and driving one very small bottom to LA (which I hate to the deepest part of my soul). Ain't parenthood great?

Kate @ Love and Kate said...

I love this so much! I think it is awesome how supportive you guys all are of his dreams! It's amazing and great and a joy to see!