We had Jessie’s eighth (I think) birthday party at a roller skating rink. It seemed like such a good idea in the abstract. The reality was that it was possibly the worst birthday party she ever had (although I’m remembering one where she pelted her guests with baked goods on the way out…). Turns out Jessie doesn’t know how to roller skate. Why this didn’t occur to us before putting her on skates is beyond me.
That was not a good day. She fell immediately, burst into tears, whipped the skates off and glared at us for the rest of the party.
So when Julie’s girl scout troop wanted to go roller skating, I was understandably a little hesitant. Logically, I fully understood that I couldn’t NOT take her skating, but I was not looking forward to it. I had hoped that Marc would take her, but he had to work this afternoon. I gently inquired if she still wanted to go this morning – assuming my little homebody would want to bail. She wanted to go.
And so, off we went.
One perk to having done this before is that I have incredibly low expectations of what makes an outing successful. Julie went, walked in without me there to join her troop, put on skates and fell down four times before bursting into tears and begging to go home. But the first three times, she picked her little self up and kept going. She even allowed someone to spray paint the ends of her ponytail orange. She was brave and bold – and I was so incredibly proud of her.
And on the way home, we stopped and got coffee and cocoa together, and listened to music. We talked about what I was like when I was her age, and it was this lovely little island of time – just me and my baby girl. Who was brave and bold and orange tipped. I know now how incredibly fast this age goes by – and how much I’m going to miss having a seven year old. Watching her stretch herself outside of her comfort zone, experiment with new ideas and new experiences, and discovering who she is – it’s all just beginning for her and I’m so proud of her.