If ever there was a day I would like to etch into my memory forever and ever, it would be last Sunday. Just a few days before, I'd gotten an email from one of Sammie's new classmate's moms saying that her little boy was having an ice skating birthday party and had sent the invites out before school started and wasn't inviting the whole class, but really wanted Sammie to come . . . she'd already called the rink and asked if an adult could bring Sammie out on the ice, but understood if we couldn't swing it.
Honestly, my gut reaction was to say "sorry, but we can't make it," as I've done with a few of the indoor playground types of parties that I know just won't have much for Sammie to do. But I didn't. Instead, I came home, asked B "how well can you ice skate? well enough to keep you and Sammie up?" He said he could (I knew I could not . . . I've only ice skated a handful of times in my life!) so I talked to Sammie about it. Actually, I first told her that this certain little boy in her class really wanted her to come to his birthday party, and asked if she wanted to go. She did. So then I said, "well, it's an ice skating party." And she said, "well, I don't know exactly how I will ice skate!" I told her that B thought he could take her out, and that we'd just give it a shot. And so, we did.
B and I both fully expected Sammie to get there and refuse to go out on the ice. With things like this -- new physical activities -- she often really wants to go, until she gets there, and then she just wants to leave. I think she just gets overwhelmed, and she is, after all, so very, very aware of her challenges. Anyway, we decided not to go for the full two hours of skating and just went about 45 minutes before time for cake. We got there, rented skates, and took Sammie to see the ice. And then, they got out there. At first, Sammie lifted her legs up, just for a minute, and refused to go, but B so very patiently coaxed her into putting her feet down, and then when she got a little scared (of the slippery ice) and kept picking her feet back up, he said, "You don't have to skate, just pretend you are walking." And so that's how they ice skated -- two times around the entire rink. B skating, helping her stay up, and her just walking (and chopping into the ice with her heels!) and squealing and giggling with absolute glee. It was a moment I didn't expect, and I was so, so proud of her. I stood by on the sidelines, running around the outside of the rink like a crazy woman trying to snap pictures (until my dumb phone died), holding Mia, tears in my eyes, and well, also squealing with my own glee. It was awesome. awesome. awesome. Sammie was so very proud of herself, and just absolutely stoked to be out there, doing it. And her little classmates that were there (all boys!) were so excited to be out there with her. There was so, so much joy. Incredible. My heart darn near burst.
After Sammie went around twice, Mia Mia also got brave (when we first got there, she'd clung to me and said she didn't want to skate) and so B and I traded girlies. Sammie hung with me while B and Mia went around the rink. A whole lot more squealing and giggling. A lot more joy.
That night, I felt like I was floating on air. I kept looking back at the pictures, hearing Sammie say "Well, I don't know exactly how I will ice skate," and then picturing her doing it with the help of her dad, and the encouragement of her peers. As I sat looking at the pictures, B walked in and said "I keep looking at the pictures from today! I'm just so proud of her!" Yep. So proud.
The day I watched my three favorites ice skate, two of them for their first time. This day goes down in the books as one of my favorites ever.
So, so proud of these two little girls. And also so, so grateful that they've got this guy as their dad. I'm pretty lucky to be sharing this life with these three.