I don’t remember learning to skate; I just remember doing it. Like most rural Canadian kids, I could walk out the back door to a natural ice surface. By the time January rolled around, however, the snow was usually too heavy to clear. Instead, we’d head to the rink on Friday night for public skating. Mom and Dad would down a few rum and cokes while we’d play crack-the-whip and make skating trains long before the helmet era.
My own kids don’t have this luxury. I’m not about to build a skating rink in our backyard like my suburban brother does. My main excuse is that we live on a hill, but that just covers up the fact that I hate tying up skates. It’s also why I don’t do crafts or perform open heart surgery: they all require a dexterity I do not possess.
So, like I said the other week when I discussed the sock episode, I took the middle class approach, signed up my kids for skating lessons, and told my husband he was going to take them.
It’s worked well enough.
Last weekend, I decided to go watch the Learn-To-Skate spectacle. We arrived at a not-in-our-neighborhood urban arena filled with kids attempting to stand upright on two sharp blades, trying not to be the domino that takes down the others.
At the first lesson, my husband informed me, the whole class practiced standing up. Now, five lessons later, it’s still clear why they focused on that skill. My kids have become experts at standing up. Let’s just say they’ve had a lot of practice.
So, there I am on Saturday afternoon, watching eager kids gather in a circle, shifting and pseudo-listening to their teacher.
In a millisecond, one’s down.
“Sniper fire,” my husband says.
I look at him for an explanation.
“One just got taken out,” he says. “It looks like sniper fire.”
In the time my brain takes to process this, he says, “Sniper fire. Another one down.” One moment Vivian was standing, the next she’s flat on the ice.
Sniper fire amuses us for the rest of the lesson.
If ever I’ve had a chance to invoke my motto, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids,” it was last weekend.
Cheaper than therapy.
Have you laughed at your kids’ expense lately?