When Theo's friend Logan invited him to his birthday party, I tried to think of other birthday parties Theo had been invited to. I could probably count them on one hand. Theo went from 0 to 2 friends last year. Both of the friends he found, Logan and Reina (who will get a blog post of her own) seemed to need him, too. No kid ever needed Theo before. So here he was, invited to a party--not because a kid was inviting everyone in his class or a cousin was obligated to include him--Logan genuinely liked Theo and wanted him at his party! And the best part--it was an ice skating party.
Do you recall our first and only attempt at ice skating last year? We had incredible fun, but Theo was unable to hold his own on the ice. I was curious to see how he'd do--a year later, his vocabulary and verbal comprehension were stronger--skills that seemed like they would matter to skating. One thing NOT better was Theo's balance. And so we would see. But I knew either way, we'd have a great time.
When we walked in, Logan's enthusiastic "Hi, Theo!" was music to my ears. His mom, Jenn, was good enough to pay for the kids to all have a 30 min coaching session. The kids learned how to fall properly, and then they hit the ice. I liked this rink because it provided helmets, something that Theo really needed! I'm pretty sure he took a couple of headers.
I automatically went into apologetic mode with the coaches when Theo did not get it right away. In fact, he was downright uncooperative at first and wouldn't stop giggling as he fell over and over. But pretty soon he was moving little distances on his own and two of the coaches were actually impressed! Coaches who teach beginners every day, impressed with Theo's progress on the ice? I felt great, and Theo felt great.
As the day went on, his confidence grew. A couple of times he went from one wall to the other entirely on his own! As many times as he fell, he never stopped smiling. I think both of us could have skated all day! Unfortunately, the rink closed early for hockey.
He never really skated skated--more like skillfully walked across the ice. But that's what kids are taught to do at first--hold their knees and march. We're going back this weekend and I plan to keep taking him, because I had as much fun as he did! I love skating! (But oops, one of the coaches corrected ME, telling me to bend my knees.) I really think he'll get it if we keep at it, and this will be wonderful therapy for his balance issues.
As far as the party went, thankfully gluten wasn't an issue. Theo gleefully chowed down on pizza and birthday cake, and loved singing to Logan. He didn't socialize with the other kids much, but he was clearly happy to be part of the festivities.