I spent this afternoon with my older children at the ice rink. It brought back memories of my figure skating days (good and bad,) but it was so much fun to see the kids laugh at their mistakes, get active, and keeping getting up every time they fell. We are closer this evening than we were this morning, there’s nothing like getting a little silly to bring us all together. I am so grateful for happy children. Children who persist, and give their all.
I had to step a bit out of my comfort zone just for a babysitter. I agreed to bring Anna to a family member on Mike’s side of the family. I was hesitant at the offer, and almost put my phone away to act like I never saw her message. When I looked at Arielle, knowing how badly she wanted to skate with me, I realized I had to put my mom pants on and suck it up. There’s no doubt in my mind that the aunt I left Anna with is perfectly capable, and so sweet. Anna loves her and had a great time, and I’m actually very excited that I was able to see her on a day that wasn’t a major holiday. I hope this is the beginning of forging a closer relationship with Mike’s family.. But it didn’t stop me from anxiously rehearsing in my head the whole drive to her house. It didn’t stop me from feeling awkward or wanting to turn around or cancel.. But I want this. I want to have a good relationship with my in-laws. I want my children to grow up close to ALL of their family members. I want Arielle to be able to do the things she’s longed for, even when it means getting through my own anxiety. I am grateful for family who wants to be involved with us, and who want to help my children have special days. I’m grateful for their patience with me, as I work through my issues. I’m grateful for their ongoing support and love.
Walking into the rink is usually the worst part for me. I spent so much of my childhood in ice arenas, and like 96% of that time was excruciatingly awkward for me. I was so terrible at socialization, it was difficult to fit in. I was an automatic oddball, being so much bigger than the other girls on my team. Memories of being measured for matching synchronized skating outfits in front of my peers, or announcing my size to order team jackets- it still knocks the wind out of me just remembering. On the ice, I remember hiding in the corner. I obsessively feared that if I used the whole ice (as required to practice skills) I would get in the way of stronger skaters, cause an accident, or embarrass myself. I literally forced myself into a corner, and was famous for “holding up the boards.” I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting any better or progressing to the next level when I spent so much TIME on the ice. Looking back now, I can tell you that I didn’t get better because I was anxiously doing footwork in a 4×4 square of ice, instead of practicing my routine as intended. I guess that’s the accountability you gain as you age. From all of this, I am grateful for the progress I have made. Today I was not consumed by my overwhelming memories of awkwardness. They did not send me into a spiraling panic attack. They were benched while I focused on getting the kids’ skates on. I’m grateful that I have family and friends who make me feel included, instead of a lonely oddball – now we’re all just oddballs together and it’s WAY more fun. I’m grateful for how far I’ve come; to not feel heavy on skates or self conscious of my size. I’m grateful for the self worth that I’ve acquired- being able to skate with the public on the entire ice, instead of standing in a corner.
I am grateful for so many things today. I’m grateful for the past, as difficult as it may have been, it made me into who I am today. Into the mother I am today. I am grateful for my children who keep me laughing, and make every day of my life worth living. I’m grateful for the family who step up to help, who want to spend time with the kids, and who understand the work I’m putting into getting healthy. I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made on myself, and the help that has been made available to me.
There have been times in my life where I felt like I was slighted by God. That I had nothing, was nothing, deserved nothing. Pulling out of a dark place like that isn’t easy. There were many days I did not want to exist, and even days I considered.. Erm.. taking steps to make myself not exist anymore. Things are different now. I love being alive, and I don’t want that to change at all. I want to spend every day with my babies. I want to have happy days with them. The ultimate blessing, the thing I am most grateful for, is being able to see how lucky I am to have this life. I can not take it for granted, and I will not let myself be in a position to wish it away. I am here, I am blessed, and I am so grateful.
With healthy hearts (and frozen, ice-rink toes,)
Kate and the Kids.