My daughter is the 9-year-old daredevil of the family. She once accidentally failed to stop her sled just before she came to the backyard drop-off and went careening down the hill, through weeds and bushes, straight down. She was a little shaken (I was freaked out) but sure enough, I caught her trying to replicate the feat a few days later.
She’s the one I plan to take on “The Amazing Race.”
She was inspired recently by the family ice skating party on Lake Ripple — and probably the Olympics — to attempt ice skating, especially after Michelle gifted her with a pair of hand-me-down figure skates. Lacking skates of my own, this meant we had to go to an actual ice rink rather than take to the lake.
My first pair of skates were white with red trim. I learned to skate on them in Milford, at the ice rink which became Skate Palace which is now a bowling alley. At least I remember going to a lesson there. Mostly they were used in the swamp behind my house and, when I was old enough, on the ice at Beaver Pond. I was never a spectacular skater, but I could stay on my feet, skate backwards and jump over the inevitable humps on the pond’s surface.
I haven’t put on ice skates since college. I didn’t think it would matter.
I was wrong.
Ice skating isn’t one of those things you can just pick up 20 years later. Balance wasn’t an issue — I could walk in the skates easily — but possibly the weight of the rental skates were. I grew up using figure skates. I ended up with hockey skates, which felt like I strapped on a pair of ski boots and added a couple knives to the bottom.
My husband, of course, got on the rink and picked it up again with a bit more steadiness. Klutz that I am, it took me a couple go-rounds before I felt confident enough to move a good distance from the boards.
Naturally, my daughter felt a little safer with Daddy, especially when I pulled her down on the ice within 10 minutes of setting foot on it. The pair of them skated in circles while I shambled on after them like Frankenstein’s monster on ice. It wasn’t pretty.
I’d chalked it up to a bad experience and was fully ready to surrender the ice skates for good, but Little Miss burbled happily all the way home about what a great time it was and when the next time we’re going ice skating?
I think next time, I’m sticking with what I know. We’re going on Lake Ripple. She can wear her ice skates.
I’m sticking with the snow boots.