Saturday, January 6, 2007


In our neighborhood, along with the retirees that staple thousands of wonderfully tacky lights to their homes at Christmas time and bring us jars of jam and gifts of lawn equipment, we’re lucky to have several families – all with children between the ages of 5 and 9. Not a huge group, but just enough.

One boy across the street won a contest at school and was awarded with a free party at the local ice skating rink. He chose to invite the neighborhood gang, so we donned our scarves and gloves and met him there. Of the six children present, there were 4 adults, myself, my husband and two other lucky fathers. We fitted the kids with their skates, handed them the beginner training bars and sent them off on the rink. Unfortunately, half of them fell flat on their butts as soon as the metal hit the ice. There was only a small opening to the rink and the kids couldn’t be reached above the rink wall because of the 5 foot plexiglass used during hockey games. My husband and I looked at one another and shrugged our shoulders. Someone had to go out there to help and we seemed to be the most qualified.

Not that I don’t enjoy skating… We used to go ice skating all the times when we were kids. Then there were the roller skating years during middle school (am I dating myself here?) And during our 3 years in Key West, Rob and I used to roller blade every day to shake those pesky hangovers.

I guess on a Sunday afternoon, having rushed there from church without my coat, I was taken off guard. It was freezing in there! But, we braved the chill and headed out.

Bless their hearts, those kids were troopers! Even after numerous hard falls, they kept laughing and smiling. Amazingly, their balance improved and we could leave a few on their own. Rob and I decided to take a few spins around the ice together, in that cheesy cross-handed synchronized couples-skate that reminds me of a good old black-and-white Jimmy Stewart movie. The other dads that accompanied our group laughed as we passed by, but who wouldn’t? We’re both hams and we love it.

So I wonder, with rosy cheeks, flying around the rink, why don’t we do this more often? This is the life! Our daughter should have professional lessons, we should come every weekend, we should twirl our life away is this wondrous, sparkling, icy-filled place!

But, our time on the ice dwindles and the kids are getting cold. We fill them with soft pretzels and hot chocolate, return those battered, scuffed boots worn by so many before us and leave the ice palace. Believe it or not, the Carolinas are having an unseasonably high temperatures and the weather outside is warm, comparatively. Sort of a relief, actually.

We pull up to our house and I remember why it is that we can’t fritter our life away in an icy-dreamland. Right – we’re in the middle of 3 loads of laundry, the plants need water, the cat box needs to be cleaned and the dog wants food. Anything else? Of course, the list goes on but what fun it is! Skating. Perhaps we can squeeze it in next weekend!


Sucar said...

I can't imagine you ice skating comfortably. Even I get cold in there!

Sunnispace said...

Funny how you can forget the most uncomfortable of situations when you're having fun - or when you're distracted by 6 kids spinning out of control on the ice!