I’m still having heart palpitations after receiving the invoice for my seven year old daughter’s private figure skating lessons. $294.50 to be exact. That is on top of the $425 for four sessions a week, an hour to an hour and a quarter each. That is also on top of the $138 in group lessons. I have to write them all separately as if I add them up I will pass out and won’t be able to write this, I’m sure you understand.
It all started when she was four. I signed her up for skating lessons at the local recenter and thought that while I was there I would take my then two year old son on the ice. I had the sense to put spikes on my shoes rather than skates, as my own skating skills are a little shaky and I knew if I had to carry him I wouldn’t be able to. During the 30min lesson, I didn’t have much time to do anything but cast the odd glance towards my daughter, as my son kept me very busy. He HATED skating, didn’t like being cold, was trying simultaneously to rip off his skates, helmet, and gloves while climbing up me (thank God for those spikes!).
At the end of the lesson, my daughter and her class met us back at the exit door off the ice and the instructor asked me “how long has she been skating for” looking expectantly at me. I looked at the big clock on the wall, uh… well, 30 min I guess, how long was the lesson? She then proceeded to tell me that my daughter was a natural and that I should consider putting her in twice a week, as the “ice time” makes all the difference. I told her I would consider it.
The following week I didn’t bother taking my son on the ice so I had a chance to watch her. She was shuffling along, but she didn’t really fall down, and if she did she popped right back up again. She finished that session and took the summer off. When she was five we went back the following winter and I signed her up for twice a week. I couldn’t believe how fast she improved, the instructor was right, it was all about ice time! When those sessions were finished we followed a friend’s daughter to the Canskate program, which is run by private figure skating clubs around town.
To make a longish story short, she ended up signing up for the full Canskate program when she was six, she did two lessons a week for six months and passed from level 1 to level 7 and received two awards, one for passing the maximum amount of levels in a season, and one for passing 3 or more levels in one season.
Then the good news came! She had been accepted to the Junior Figure Skating Team in two different clubs in town. I let her choose which one she would join. We signed up for the Summer session, five mornings a week for five weeks. The improvement was amazing! She has now completed a full season of Junior and two competitions, one she received Bronze and one Silver. The next one is in August and she’s aiming for GOLD!
Is it worth all that money? You wouldn’t need to ask if you saw her face when she’s on the ice. It makes it all worth while. I’ve had other parents come up to me and comment on her when she’s on the ice “Wow, she’s so happy when she’s on the ice, she just lights right up!”, “You can really tell that she loves to be out there, she really has fun”. And I can see it too. So we keep it going. Plus, it’s good teenage insurance right? Keep em busy and out of trouble!! I have to say, the Senior team is full of great teens that have a great bond, are dedicated to their sport and are skating morning and evening several times a week. Much better than hanging out in front of 7-Eleven if you ask me.
The next bill? Summer camp, $625… plus God only knows how much in private lessons etc. Guess I’d better get to work!