I'm crying right now as I upload these photos. I had this utterly heartbreaking experience at ice skating lessons.
She was so brave. She kept falling on her bum but she would get right up. She kept going even when the instructor left her behind on the ice. She just kept going and I kept trying to keep a smile on my face, my thumbs up as I kept trying to motion that she was doing a great job. But inside I was weeping and wailing. The tears finally came flowing out last night while trying to tell the tale to her Daddy. And this morning as I'm trying to write this post.
She is the youngest in the class, just one month from 5 years of age. The class is for 5 year olds and older. This was her first time without a walker and while she was getting the hang of it, I felt she needed more attention from the instructor. I understand that the instructor needs to give equal time to all the kids (there were five) but I can't believe the woman left my little lotus bud out on the ice when the class was over. You can see from the photos that she is totally alone out there.
She tried so hard to get to the part where she could get off the ice, but she kept falling and falling. Finally she spotted me, smiled, and scooted on her bum to me. My heart broke into a million tiny little pieces.
Falling is part of skating, learning how to fall is essential to learning how to skate. I get that. But I can't understand why the instructor left her behind on the ice. Dave is going to come to skating lessons next week to see what the heck is up with that instructor. We want the lotus bud to enjoy skating and instructors make all the difference in enjoying it and dreading the ice.
So, let me be frank and vulnerable here. These skating lessons are in a very white part of the city's suburbs. We were the only people of color in the ice arena. I always, always, have to consider this factor when things go awry. Was the instructor negligent because of me and my brown skin? I don't think so but the possibility is always there.
And that takes the million broken pieces of my heart and shatters them further across the universe.
This is the very reason why I didn't want to have kids. While I wouldn't want a life without the little lotus bud, I can't bear the idea that she would suffer because of discrimination towards me. Race discrimination is a tricky, slippery thing and harder to spot when it happens in small, mundane ways. I saw it with the other moms at the ice arena, the ones who refused to include me when they talked about preschools and home-schooling. I saw it at the high-end grocery store where we shopped after the skating class. When it happens to me, I can toughen up and deflect it, stop it from tearing me up. But when it happens to my daughter? I become a weeping pile of mush with no defenses, no guards, no nothing to help me sort through the emotions, and less than nothing in terms of helping my sweet little girl understand.
OK. I'm done for today. I'm going to find some glitter glue and see if that can help put the pieces of heart back together....not really. I'll just keep doing laundry and wait for the emotions to work their way through my body. Excuse me while I go have another good cry.