We have just got back from ice-skating and I was, I have to admit, crabby. I am not very good at skating although I am competent enough to go around the rink without falling over. My children are not very good and I don't know how to help them. I know what I do and I can see what other, much better, skaters are doing, and I know that some of what my children are doing they shouldn't be, but I just can't see how to put this all together and explain it in a way that improves their skating. So I feel frustrated and I get crabby. When they stop for a rest or 'walk' on the ice, chewing up the surface behind them, I find myself nagging and telling them off for not trying. There are all sorts of issues going on for me. I am embarrassed that the other kids are skating better than mine (although, of course, I know that they may have been skating for years) and I am disappointed that none of the other Home Ed kids talk to mine and the other Home Ed mums sit at the side or in the coffee shop together and I feel left out (although, of course, I am aware that they have been going for years and know each other really well) and I am frustrated that I can't skate as well as the figure skater practising to music and I don't know how to improve and even if I did I can't skate on my own because I'm too busy helping my children.
And yet I am aware of the contradictions. I have trusted my children to learn pretty much everything else and they have done. It took years of swimming but they all cracked it in their own way in their own time. They are all courageously giving it a go, falling over and getting back up and on with it without tears or tantrums. Having the opportunity to spend this time with my children, sharing this experience with them, having fun together, holidng their hands is a huge privilege. And in taking the time to reflect on this and put my feelings into words, I am seeing this afternoon in a new light and I am looking forward to our next trip to the ice-rink!