Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scary Banshee Mom

My darling Ella is a figure skater and she loves it. In my long ago youthful days, I was also a figure skater and I still love it. Now figure skating, like most sports, has its fair share of stage mom syndrome. You know what I mean...the well meaning mom that yells a little too much "encouragement" and takes everything way too seriously. The one that turns every practice session into one long awkward moment. When this mom sits down all the other moms quietly slide a little further down the bleachers to avoid being sucked into her banshee mom vortex of terror. Yeah, that one. Well, I've seen it from both sides of the ice...and it isn't pretty.

So I work really hard to avoid being "that mom." And while I personally have a *slightly* overly developed competitive nature, I always tell Ella that the only thing that counts is doing her best, having fun and all that other stuff they write about in the "How To Not Emotionally Damage Your Children" articles.

And I think I'm doing a pretty good job. But I feel my inner banshee mom trying to break out of the tiny box I keep her locked in. Ella just finished a session of group lessons and she didn't pass the test to move on to the next level. She was so disappointed. She handled it with great maturity and I was really proud of her, but it just stinks. She only missed one skill. Actually only half of a skill because it's a turn she has to do on both feet. She can do one but not the other. And now she has to repeat the entire level...for one skill. One skill! Wait, deep breath, count to 5, go to a happy place where little elves make cookies. Ok, better now.

Even though I know Ella didn't do the turn well enough to pass, my protective mommy instinct is revving into the red zone. Especially when she turns her big blue eyes up at me and says, "Mommy, everyone passed but me. Am I not good at skating?" Yep, that cracking sound you hear is my heart breaking.

I know that failure is a part of life and that sometimes it's the best teacher. But it hurts so much to see my children sad. And as much as I want to jump in and try to fix it, I know that I can't. Ella didn't pass. It wasn't unfair, it wasn't a conspiracy, it's just a disappointment. And I know that she'll pass next time and that in 10 years it won't matter at all.

But it matters now.

And it still stinks.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes THAT Mom is THAT Dad. Feel free to gather your root beer and chocolate chip cookies and exit the building :}She is her Mommy's daughter and will NEVER give up.