Cameron survived ice skating
It took several days for him fully to absorb that I was going to be there, and that maybe, with me holding his hand, it might not be so bad. This morning, finally, he told me, "I want to go ice skating with you today. I don't want you to go without me."
"Great! I'm so glad!" I said.
First there was pizza and cake. Cameron ate two
pieces of pizza, after which he was not really very hungry for the ENORMOUS piece of chocolate cake he was served. (The cake was absolutely beautiful to look at -- a large round chocolate cake covered in this edible matte-finish chocolate shellac, with quite realistic pink shellac roses on top, and a matching pink band around the side that said, "Katya is 5!" It looked like a sweet-sixteen cake -- or a hat.)
Finally, it was time for skating. They gave everyone a sticker saying they were with the party and thus their rental was paid for. Katya herself got one that said, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" The other kids got ones that said, "PARTY GUEST." I and the other adult guests got ones that said "SILVER / OTHER PERSON," which made me laugh. I touched my hair and joked, "I'm not that
silver yet!" (I'm guessing the "silver" referred to the party package that Katya's parents bought.) N.B.: Katya is quite a good skater already. She looked completely comfortable on the ice, with good posture, doing turns and skating backwards like a champ. Wow.
Cameron did not like skating at all at first -- but for my holding him up by his hand, he would have gone down almost constantly -- but pretty soon it was time for the group lesson. The instructor managed to help six or seven kids about as inexperienced as Cameron with such skills as "thump, thump, thump" (stepping alternately in place), "baby steps," and "kitties and puppies" (if you fall down, pretend to be your favorite pet by getting on all fours as a prelude to getting up). It wasn't a whole lot, but it did help -- actually saw a smile or two -- but it was only a 15-minute lesson, and then they cleared the ice for the zamboni.
It was actually good timing. At the end of the lesson Cameron was ready to call it a day, but he was fascinated by the zamboni. He demanded that I hold him up (while in skates myself) so he could see through the plexiglass and watch as the ice got smooth. After they opened the rink up again I told him that I wanted to skate a bit more. I was feeling like I had gotten all suited up and hadn't gotten to really skate at all, other than very slowly holding on to Cameron. He didn't have to skate, I told him, but he did have to stand where I could see him, i.e. on the ice, holding onto the edge. He suddenly said, "I want to skate with you!" and reached for my hand. So I never did get to skate on my own, but we did have fun, and he even pushed from the wall over to me and back a couple times without assistance (a distance of about three feet), and was proud of himself.
As we left I asked him if he'd had fun, and he said yes. "What was your favorite part?" I asked. "Holding your hand," he said. Awwww...