Saturday, March 21, 2009

Took 'em Skating. . .

Okay, so we're Canadian and my lads have only been on ice skates twice (three years ago). Is that so wrong?

I've actually been feeling a little bad that I haven't taken them out more - that, and Kieran saying he really wanted to learn to skate - made me get out of the house and take them to the local rink.

I told them we were going "falling," not "skating." They laughed. I was serious!

Kieran said, "it's a really good thing I'm a fast learner."

Liam said, "yeah, and it's a really good thing I'm a fast healer!"

$11.00 later, and Kieran and Liam and I are on the ice. They did great. I was expecting to be there 20 minutes, tops. I expected to hear about sore feet and cold hands. I expected frustrations. But they were real troopers. No whining. No big falls. They were just great. An hour and a half later I had to drag them off the ice, swearing (scouts honour) that I would bring them back again soon.

My Own Memories . . .

One of my favourite memories of skating was formed during cold winter evenings in Owen Sound, Ontario. Most parks had outdoor rinks that were packed during the day with boys playing hockey. . . the girls were on the edges trying to be graceful.

When I was twelve or so I used to take my dog for walks in the evening. I'd take my skates with me, and we'd stop at the park when nobody else was around. I'd twirl around on the ice pretending I was a great figure skater. I'd skate until my feet hurt, then I'd lie on the ice and look up at the stars.

I wasn't a great figure skater. I remember taking lessons when I was 4, and mostly I remember falling and having to sit with my mom while I cried. When my dad got sick, mom didn't have the time, energy or money to keep up with lessons, so I never took them again. I'm not bitter or sad about that - my memory of skating alone at the park in the evenings is too sweet. Those daydreams fueled my desire to become a writer, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

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