It was parent observation day at gymnastics tonight. Not being very in tune with the schedule of the YMCA, I only discovered this when I went to drop Leah off.
I watched a bit of the warmup, but having deprived myself of coffee with the promise to go by Northside Social I was lured away. I just ran down grabed a latte and a cookie for Leah and came back. Made it to her class with maybe 35 min to go, and stood awkwardly behind the row of parents.
Little miss was doing well, clearly one of the younger in the rythmic gymnastics class. Handstands: check; backbends: no prob; ribbon: great; rope: not as great.
She got to the point where they were workign on skipping rope, in particular the bit where they double the rope in half and try to leap over it. Couldn’t get it. This got her flustered. Kept trying, nada. Coach gave her direction, didn’t help. Poor little girl was clearly getting upset. Eventually she couldn’t keep feelings in check and just started crying. But unlike most 6 year olds, didn’t stop trying. Tears were streaming down her face — just kept on going. They moved on to other skills, but she just couldn’t pull herself up out of it.
By the end of class she just calmly walked over to me, on tip toe, and reached up. I snatched her up and held her, but she just smashed her face against mine. Slobbery mess. I didn’t care. We talked about it, and after she was calm, buckled up and on our way home I gave her the cookie. She offered me a ‘tiny bit’ unprovoked.
It broke my heart to watch her cry. Made me so proud to see her choose to deal with it and continue to work hard in her class. I only hope I gave her the support and love she needed — and didn’t encurage her to comfort-eat too much. That really wasn’t my intention when I bought the cookie.
Afterwords she did explain that having the audence of parents observation there really made it hard to calm down. Kept thinking that everyone was looking at her, then if she couldn’t do the skill correctly they would watch even more. I just hugged her a bit more.
Wiping the tears.