It's been cold enough here for the outdoor rinks to freeze, and every afternoon on the way home from nursery school we see kids, skates in hand, heading out to the small rink near our house.
Stu has been eagerly awaiting his first go on skates - his godparents gave him some skates at Thanksgiving and he's been itching to get into them. So when we drove by the rink yesterday and realized that there was a tiny rink for the kids not playing hockey, we decided to have a quick snack and head out before the sun set.
We perched on snowbanks to put on our skates and I was reminded of the outdoor rink near my house growing up. Within minutes my fingers were cold, and I didn't even have my skates on yet before my feet felt chilly. Childhood memories came flooding back.
I have a confession to make - I don't like skating. I broke my arm skating in Grade 6 (a fellow girl guide crashed into me 3 times knocking me over and I fractured my wrist) and didn't get back onto skates until I was 22. Goaded into it by a boyfriend at a romantic Victorian Inn in New Hampshire.
When I moved to Ottawa in '94 I bought skates. EVERYONE here skates. I think I used them once (Marc who I met in '95 had never seen me on skates before yesterday).
But seeing as we live in Ottawa - where everyone seems to be waiting for the canal to freeze for half the year - well I bought skates again this year. Nice furry Nike ones that looked cosy (hmmmm. Jury's still out).
I am certain if I spread the word of my lack of enthusiasm to glide up and down the world's longest outdoor rink I would be run out of town.
It's more than just that though - I want to show my kids that you can still try something you're not good at. In the end I only had my skates on for about 15 minutes by the time we got them up and remotely stable. But I managed to stay upright and did a couple of "laps" around the "rink" (I think my living room/dining room is bigger).
The kids did great - Julia on her cheese cutters (double blades) got the hang pretty quickly. Stu, ever his mother's son, took a little longer to warm up, but got off the ice reluctantly when it was time to go.
Think I'll take them to my girlfriend's next week to have her big strapping boys help out. If nothing else they can pick their Auntie Tracy up off the ice ;-)
And perhaps the promise of a Beaver Tail will get me out on the canal.... just perhaps...