I Wish I Had a River

… I could skaaaate away on.
The birthday girl FINALLY got her birthday wish. My husband took a personal day yesterday and we went to the city. I had a yearly doctor check-up, and we figured we’d combine that with the ice skating and make a day of it, and it was perfect! Because we went on a Tuesday, the rink was basically empty. There was hardly anyone there at all!

I’ve only been ice skating maybe 5 times in my entire life, and I was really nervous about “teaching” the kids how to ice skate. I mean, I could barely stay standing! How was I supposed to hold them up too? But that wasn’t going to stop us. My daughter was DEAD SET on going. She would ask me about it all of the time. Then she’d lift one leg up behind her and spread her arms out, “I’m just going to do like THIS,” she’d say. I tried to explain to her that ice skating wasn’t exactly like she’d seen in the movies.
She didn’t care.
I went online to check the times for public skating sessions. It was only open to the public from 2:30-4:00. We used up every second of that time! The skates for kids were so. dang. cute. But then again… anything miniature-sized usually is.

My girl could hardly stand it. She was itching to get out on the ice, fully unaware that she wasn’t just going to skate beautifully away.

In fact, she was a little shocked when she finally stepped onto the ice. It was nearly impossible to stay standing!

Our family pretty much LIVED on the wall for the first thirty minutes.

I could see that The Girl was getting discouraged, so I asked her to show me again HOW she was going to skate.
“Like this!” She gave it her best shot…

I purposely sat Lacy on the ice, softly of course, and explained to her that she would probably fall and that it would be totally okay. A few minutes later, she fell. She laughed at herself, got right back up and tried again. Then she fell again. This time, her little bottom landed on her skate. She cried so hard she forgot to breath and her little lips started turning purple. I got down next to her, told her that sometimes we fall but if we want to be stronger than strong… we always get back up, and that everything would be okay.
“I don’t WANT this!” She cried, “I want to GO BACK and NOT DO THIS!”
I coaxed her back up and we slowly made another lap around the rink. One of the rink staff took pity on us and offered us what turned out to be our ice skating saving grace.
Miniature walkers, complete with helmets.
Again… so adorable!

They are the ice skating equivalents of gutter bumpers. Hallelujah!

They weren’t completely fool-proof:

But they worked miracles for our kids. By that time, I was starting to get my feet under me. All of the hours I spent roller-blading as a kid were coming back in my favor, and I was able to break away from my little walker-equipped kids and do a little skating. I thought to grab my husband’s hand and take him for a lap, but I realized something… he was actually TRAILING behind the kids. And he was still holding onto the wall!

I couldn’t believe it! My husband has always been much-more-the-jock in our relationship. I grabbed his hand anyway and taught him just like my brother Mike had taught me on Christmas morning ALL THOSE YEARS AGO when we were given in-line skates from Santa.
“Keep your feet sort of angled. You don’t take a straight step forward, you kind of go out at a little angle… see?”
He didn’t see.
He put up with me for ALMOST one lap before throwing me off.
Lacy, on the other hand, was doing JUST fine. Once she had that walker, this was all we saw of her:

Trenton fell time after time, and every time he did he would say, “Dat’s okay. Dat’s okay.” He would scramble to get back up and if we tried to help him, we were brandished with, “I can DO IT! I can DO IT!”

I was thoroughly impressed with my daughter’s fearlessness. After five years, it still impresses me. She certainly doesn’t get it from me.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure… my son and I and a quick shot of the girl racing by. with her infantile walker.

I now know my true Native American name… Baby Deer.
*wobble, wobble, wobble*

The kids enjoyed themselves so much that my husband nearly signed them up for ice skating lessons. But I’ll be danged if I’m going to drive to the city once a week so the kids can learn an art that they can’t use on account of our living in the middle of the DESERT.
On the other hand, I’d pay good money just to see them in those cute little skates again…

And after an afternoon of skating, I was able to get a little shopping.  I spent some Christmas money and got (among other things) a painter’s drop cloth -soon to be curtains, knobs -endless possibilities for those babies!, and candlesticks from World Market at 90% off!  That’s right!  Those babies put me back about a buck each.  I wanted to die from sheer happiness.

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