Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roller Skating

Birthday roller skates - note the 1980s upholstery
Over the holiday break, we went roller skating (the first time for the kids). I skated quite a bit as a child, I remember my parents would clear out the garage and we would skate around to tapes like "Saturday's Warrior".

I haven't been on a pair of skates for a long time, at least fifteen years. I was unsteady on wheels - it wasn't exactly like riding a bicycle.

The interesting part was that my son and daughter were trying out skates for the first time. We rented carts - so they could push the wheeled cart for balance.

My son took to the skates quickly. He fell down once or twice. But before we left (less than an hour later), he was out of the practice area and flying around the rink. He wasn't as fast or steady as the experienced skaters - but he definitely reminded me of the "duck to water" expression.

My daughter did not understand the process intuitively. She held onto me (not the best strategy as I was unsteady myself). She fell once, and it really bothered her. Of course when you learn to skate, you sometimes fall. That's part of the process.

The well meaning owner stopped by as we sat on the side of the rink. He gave us a few pointers. Near the end, she was more comfortable and able to move.

Being the mom of twins, I have unique insight into the natural/genetic/social differences people have. It's clear that my son and daughter approach the world differently and have distinct skills and talents. There are things that my daughter learns effortlessly, but roller skating wasn't one of them.

How do people learn that some things are easy for them to grasp, and others need more practice? How do you stop someone (particularly a bright person) from becoming discouraged when they don't figure something out immediately?

It took me a long time to figure out that I couldn't do everything I attempted the first time. That just because someone else could do something - didn't mean I could. It means I'm human, it doesn't mean I'm less than anyone else. As a Mom, helping my kids figure out their strengths is important. It would be nice if our culture valued and rewarded each person's strengths.

1 comment:

laura said...

I learned by having a skate on one foot and a shoe on the other, so if she wants to try again, that might help. It took me a long time, but it eventually became one of my favorite things in the world to do, despite all the skinned knees (I almost always skated outside).