Ice skating is a foreign activity to some who live in temperate climates, but I was born in Buffalo, New York, where participating in winter sports was the only way to combat cabin fever.
I don’t live in Buffalo any longer, however. My younger children hadn’t lived in a cold climate for most of their lives, so ice skating is as foreign to them as surfing is to their Buffalonian cousins.
My daughter thought she’d like to win an Olympic medal and she thought the best way to do that was to learn how to ice skate. Far be it from me to discourage a future Olympic medalist.
When we arrived, my son was surprised to realize that the ice rink was cold. The physics didn’t kick in until he fell the first time.
“Mom, this is real ice!”
“Is that so?”
At first, all three of them hugged the side walls of the rink. I was informed that the ice was slippery.
Having practically been born on ice skates, I was having no trouble at all. A few collisions with a munchkin were always a possibility at a public rink, but I managed to keep myself upright for most of the time. My kids were amazed that such an old person could skate on that slippery ice without falling. I was insulted and gratified at the same time.
My daughter finally decided that if she wanted a shot at an Olympic medal, she would have to let go of the side. I told her that the only difference between her and an Olympic gold medalist was that the Olympians have fallen more than she has. She counted all of her falls.
The older son would let go for short forays punctuated by scissoring his feet rapidly for a few yards then slumping in an awkward pile onto the ice. If there was no danger of getting body parts sliced off by an approaching speed skater, he’d lie there in his awkward position as if posing for an imaginary photographer. He tells me that he was trying to imprint these ignominious falls onto his brain so that the next time I asked him if he wanted to go skating, he’d remember how much he hated it.
The youngest boy would wait until I came within colliding distance. Then he would dart away from the wall, right in front of me.
“Look, I’m an expert skater, now!”
I deftly avoided this careening catastrophe and watched as he took three giant strides and concluded his performance with a spectacular fall.
I say “spectacular” not only because I’d never seen so many different ways to fall but also because the boy has no shame.
He was wearing a pair of pants that didn’t fit his waist. He wore no belt. And he decided to go “commando” that day.
It became clear that the long strides were mostly to help keep his pants up. The spectacular falls became necessary because his hands couldn’t break his fall. They were too busy holding his pants up.
Regardless of these measures taken for modesty’s sake, he regularly mooned every skater in the joint with his skinny little hide.
He should have simply held on to the side to avoid so much attention, but then how would he hold his pants up? He may actually have invented a new winter sport: Moon Falling.
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at email@example.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.
Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website <a
for more info.