(Parent) Hazing

We’re in the middle of our first ice show experience, and I’m beginning to think it’s someone’s idea of a hazing ritual for new ice parents. Two weeks of daily practice, including two three-hour dress rehearsals that ran way, way over–culminate in five shows, four of which require a parent volunteer to arrive two hours prior to their skater. Even with the costs aside, over $400 when I stopped keeping track (on top of all the regular ice time and lessons etc., etc.), it’s more than any reasonable parent would or could or should do. Still way behind at school, G slept soundly this morning as I turned off his alarm and wondered exactly how much school a kid could miss before a truancy officer was called. I closed his door and called the attendance line. Considering a wide range of excuses, for “reason absent” I eventually settled on, “ice show” and then added, “and he’ll be late tomorrow, too.”

This is foreign to me. When I was a kid school was everything. When I got home from school I lined up my stuffed animals to play school. I guess this could be because I didn’t have any other interests, but it’s not like G has academic room to breathe. Meeting with the psychologist this past weekend I heard again what I already knew–G is a bright, very bright, kid, but he’s really struggling in math–two years behind struggling. The discrepancy is suggestive of a learning disorder, the doctor explained. I tried to counter that it may also be suggestive of being called gay in math class, or having a book thrown at him or not realizing until the end of the year that he couldn’t see the board from his seat. But no. I’m supposed to jump on this–refute the IEP denial, get him tutoring. I’m thinking more like we need to switch schools, but at some point can’t we just say, hey, maybe he’s not going to be a physicist? What is it about math that everyone is supposed to be able to do it? We don’t expect everyone, to say, be able to do a mazurka on the ice (I don’t even know what mazurka is but G does). Obviously I rambling a bit this morning… definitely due to lack of sleep from ice show hazing.

At any rate, I think we’re doing the right thing by letting the school thing slip a bit for now. I’ve watched G with his ice buddies these past weeks, a few of whom started out shy and protective, but many of whom are super boy boys. G steps right into in the middle of all this chaos ripping his bey blades, making friends, totally being himself. Here, he’s one of the cool kids. (Also a foreign concept to me.) This doesn’t happen for him at school or at the park or at the pool, definitely not at school, and so I know in my heart of hearts that “ice show” is totally a reasonable excuse for missing school.

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