Mom and Dad and I took the boys ice skating the other day. Actually, we took them on a “bus, train, ice skating” trip, wherein we indulged their passion for public transportation as well as ice skating. We’ve also done a “bus, train, chicken” trip that ended up at KFC, and a “bus, train, Chuck-E-Cheese” trip that ended up at hell. It’s a THING we do occasionally. It seems like there was a “bus, train, Christmas tree ornament” trip once, but I may be hallucinating that one. Mom? Do you remember that one?
We got to the rink, strapped skates on everyone except Mom (who claimed to know better, and watched from the sidelines), and hit the ice.
Literally, some of us. Tre did really well, striding out across the rink. He expected to be as surefooted as he is on rollerblades, and his occasional wobbles surprised and mildly irritated him. But he kept at it, pestering Mom to time his every circuit around the ice. For the record, his best time was 26 seconds, and he’s certain he could halve that if everyone would simply get out of his way.
Max, on the other hand, WAS as surefooted as he is on rollerblades, which is to say NOT AT ALL. He’s an ice skater of random trajectories, and his feet, arms, and legs are given to veering off wildly. At first he managed about half a second with his feet underneath him, and this was WITH his hand clutching mine. Then his right foot would sail out behind him, his left foot would dart over to smack me in the shin, his butt would drop like a stone to the ice and his hand would give a good YANK at my arm. But with many steadying assists back upright he eventually managed to master a skating style of sorts. It was still entirely random, with direction, speed, and stopping point completely left up to the whim of the fates. But he stayed upright for SECONDS at a time, and throughout the entire session he remained in a good mood about the whole thing. No amount of butt-banging on the ice could dampen his enthusiasm.
Raphael started out in a weeeeee little pair of standard ice skates, but these soon proved too slick for him, so Dad took him in to swap for a pair of those double skates that strap onto kids’ shoes. Those are less like actual SKATING devices than crampons, the way they grip the ice. Raphael found that to be to his liking and after a few tentative steps on the ice he TOOK OFF, running across the rink with flailing arms and legs, ice shavings flying every direction.
The sun was warm, even on the ice, the crowd was jovial, my boys had each found their place on the skating rink, and the day would not end before we’d stopped for some excellent green chile.
It’s not hard to be content when I remember that today is really all I have.
Oh yeah. Today I can deal with.