my right pinky is currently attempting to sever its ties with the rest of my right hand. it is assuming the hitchhiking position, a position that only my thumb should know how to do but generally fails (if only it hadn’t been pulled completely backward in a ninth grade game of kill the guy with the ball.) in short, my pinky — tiny, nearly useless appendage — aches and aches. the little bastard is currently punishing me for doing something i shouldn’t have done.

i went ice skating with the kids on saturday.

ah yes. last weekend, when it was get the kids the hell out of the house while the husband does income taxes weekend. i remember it well. usually, when this weekend in march rolls around, i escape to NJ with the kids. unfortunately, the three-day-weekend prior was chock-a-block filled with plans (mostly abandoned), so i was left with this past two-day weekend. and who really wants to drive 200 miles on saturday and then 200 more sleep-deprived miles on sunday with two kids in tow?


so of course i figured that i might just plan a fun-filled weekend for the three of us. the three of us turned into the four of us when BC’s pal J — a lovely, lovely girl who could move in with us as far as i’m concerned, as i think she’s very sweet, well-mannered, and, most importantly, doesn’t treat jools like he’s something that someone scraped off her shoe  — joined us in our exploits on saturday. my plan: take the kids ice skating. then a movie. drop off BC’s pal. take jools to his first-ever playdate with his pal h, which was going to be at the school playground during h’s older brother’s baseball game. simple, right?

those of you who’ve been here for awhile remember the ice skating debacle of 2007 and know that i get a little gunshy about ice skating. nevermind that preteen wreke went skating most fridays and saturday nights at our town’s ice rink. nevermind that i really DO know how to ice skate, though stopping is still a challenge. but our hero learned that when you fall at age…21 and a half, you don’t necessarily bounce back the way you did at 13.  yes, i did get back in the saddle again after that. but i think that was the last time i was on skates.

until saturday.

so off we went, BC, jools, J, and me.  J and BC are competent skaters; i truthfully don’t have to hover anywhere near them. jools…i wouldn’t call him a skater as much as i call him an ice runner. and damn, he’s fast.  LL Cool j (because deep down, even these two ladies love cool jools)  spent his time chasing the two girls, who had made friends with two other girls and were mostly ignoring him. i pretended i was a speed skater (pretended being the operative word. i’m about as fast as a glacier) and was in hot pursuit of all. not an easy task considering all the potential landmines there.

let’s see:

there’s the middle of the rink, where people are taking private lessons and doing all sorts of advanced tricks. somehow, my kids, as well as others, didn’t grasp the need to stay outside the cones. there were girly figure skaters there; there were burly hockey boys there; and there was a grey-haired, brittle-boned woman who looked to be nearing 60 with knee braces on doing little leaps. every time jools went near those people, he was nearly taken out. that boy is constantly flirtin’ with disaster.

then, there was the idiot father and son tag team who were literally racing around the rink playing — wait for it — tag. the son, who had to be about 15 and who was the size of a burgeoning linebacker, was zipping in and out of clumps of people, chasing his dad, who was doing the same. and when they tagged each other, they actually knocked each other down. oh, the hilarity. i was waiting for someone to skate over the dad .

dorothy hamill and dick button had decided that the middle of the rink was too crowded for their jumping and skating practice; the two, middle aged ice mavens took over the entire goal area of the arena for their training exploits. at one point, mr. button nearly took out my daughter as she actually skated where she was actually supposed to be skating. (silly girl.) and. he. scowled. BC, being 10, was completely oblivious to the situation. i, being 21 and a half (as previously mentioned)  was not. hey kids, i said to the four, let’s leave the kennel to lassie and skate further away. if i had only known that the two grownups who actually owned the ice arena were hard at work, preparing for the olympics, i would been more careful with my children.

and of course, lest we forget the clumps of people who decide to stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the skating path. there was the line of teen girls, stretched almost completely across the entire path, all holding hands and stopped. (i lied. there was one who was texting, right near the sign that said no cameras or phones on the ice.) there was the happy loving couple twenty-something foursome, taking turns taking pictures of themselves on the ice because gee, we’re fun people wearing fun, inappropriately fashionable clothes in a fun skating rink. we’re  just. TOO. FUN!

and, of course, my favorite: the clump of dads just standing and talking about hockey. every time i passed them, slowly manoeuvering myself around and just barely avoiding contact,  i learned a little bit more about the washington capitals and their success while on the road. [note to the men: there’s a snack bar where you can buy BEER and have that conversation. (yes, i said beer. now shoo!)]

in short, for 90 minutes, i lived in utter fear.

every now and again, jools would randomly skate across traffic and smack himself into the glass. i’d say a little prayer as he cut off countless skaters, all of whom were much larger than he and possibly not terribly adept at stopping. he always looked pained, so i would magically skate across traffic as safely as possible and get over to him. usually, he complained his back hurt him (what, are you my age already, little boy?); i’d tell him to come sit down; and he’d skate away.

one of these times, i essentially body checked myself. bashed my pinky. all 98 pounds of me barrelled down on my tiny little finger.

we survived our skating. we went out to lunch. we never made the movie, though we did end up meeting one of BC favorite authors and got her autograph at a local bookstore. it rained and rained and rained, so i couldn’t take the kids to a playground. that rain also doomed jools’ playdate later. oh, i saw my future, and it wasn’t looking very pretty. thus,  i did what any desperate self-respecting mom would do: i took them to dunkin donuts, got them sugared up, and drank myself a cup.

and lucky me. it’s thursday, and i still have a happy little black and blue remembrance of the day.


3 thoughts on “skateaway

  1. I’ll take the skating rink any day of the week over what we did this weekend – joined the mobs on The Mall and made a pass through the Natural History museum and the Air & Space museum. The 4 year old spazzed almost as bad as I did. We ended up at The Greene Turtle, drinking beer, inhaling appetizers, and watching hoops. Much more my speed.

  2. see, i basically avoid The Mall, except for september through early december (when the blessed tree goes up) and then January through mid March. beyond that, kid, and there’s no way i’m going. call me misanthropic, but the older i get, the less i like the huddled tourist masses yearning to breathe free and buy 3 for $10 tourist t-shirts.

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