Last weekend I took Margaret on a special mother-daughter date to go ice skating for the first time.
She loved it.
The parking lot was packed, we had to wait in line forever to get in, and to get Margaret's tiny little rental skates. Fortunately, most people who go ice skating last about ten minutes and then get hot cocoa from the concession stand. Margaret utilized every minute of our hour of skating time. We only got off the ice when the rink employees forced us.
I was mildly concerned that I wouldn't be able to support Margaret while on ice skates myself, it had been a few years. Fortunately, all of those skating expeditions throughout my childhood and adolescence proved themselves worthy. I found myself cruising by everyone in sight, flying over the ice with Margaret in front of me, holding her skates together as I introduced her to the joys of skating.
I felt so cool, until that 5 year old boy with the hockey gear zipped by us.
There was a reason why I spent more time hunting for hockey pucks in the snowbanks around the Bar River outdoor rink in Ontario, and not in the midst of the sporting action on the ice. Still, I put in my hours, and could hold my own in any skating-for-pleasure expedition. I have fond memories of trekking through the snow to go ice skating in some woodsy pond, with my hockey stick and skates slung over my shoulder. Skating with cousins in New England, and our pond hockey games and explorations of a frozen Vermont marsh. Not to mention the countless hours spent throughout high school at the local ice arena.
Margaret was fascinated by the fact that I had my own skates, and hintingly asked, "did your mommy buy those for you?". I told her when her feet stopped growing maybe I would get her a pair too. Unless we move back to the frozen north and start skating every day of the week. I don't foresee that happening. I was proud of her dedication in figuring out the art of skating. And in her amazing progress throughout the course of the hour as she learned to push and glide while holding lightly onto my hand, instead of taking short choppy steps while clinging to the wall.
The minute we were back in the car she was campaigning to go again. Ice skating as special Advent treat = huge success.