I remember the first time they were going to compete against each other in an event.
We didn’t tell them until we were there. Until they were checking in with the ice monitor.
We didn’t want the whole time to be focused on this one event.
I couldn’t sleep the night before.
I was so worried about how this was all going to play out.
They didn’t start their figure skating careers competing against each other.
They were a few levels apart until some unfortunate circumstances happened.
Sickness and injury and having a hard time mastering a jump kept my oldest from moving up levels while her sister was able to keep moving up levels.
The next thing I know my heart is pounding in the stands and I am watching them both take the ice against each other.
It’s at this moment I realize that being a figure skaters mom really isn’t that much fun and I have no idea how I am going to parent this situation.
I mean who do you cheer for?
And how do you celebrate and mourn in the same household?
And friends, I made a lot of terrible parenting mistakes.
I tried to pep talk both of them before events.
It just led to eye rolls and “okay mom.”
They weren’t really listening to my words of encouragement.
They landed on deaf ears.
I tried to lecture them that it didn’t matter who won.
Let’s think about that advice… they train everyday to win. Not to lose.
That advice backfired.
They only tried to beat each other even more.
I’ve never seen them skate perfectly.
I would hate to judge these two.
I got mad when I felt they should be responding a certain way.
I felt the one sister should be more happy for her sister for winning.
And the other sister should be more compassionate that her sister lost.
Because, I have enough time controlling my own responses and now I am telling them how to respond.
No matter what I did, it seemed one was mad that I was consoling the other
and not celebrating enough.
Or the other one was mad that I didn’t care enough that she didn’t win.
Until one day I couldn’t take it anymore.
I was tired of playing referee and getting hit by pucks.
I took a step back and told them they had to figure this out themselves.
I told them that their dad and I would be in the stands cheering for them both
and we would celebrate and we would console.
But when it came to their relationship, it was up to them.
I didn’t want to be involved anymore.
I was going to encourage them and cheer for them but I wasn’t going to fix anything.
That was up to the two of them.
Once I gave them the power, they chose to use their power for good.
I started noticing them practicing together and asking each other advice.
They cheered for each other and laughed at their mistakes that cost them first place.
It was pretty amazing to watch.
Now don’t get me wrong. They still fight and argue over the dumbest things.
But put them in an event were they are competing and they are each other’s biggest fans.
Maybe there is something to this, just letting go and letting them figure it out?