Please excuse the blurry photo above, but it's all I could get with my cell phone on Sunday. I didn't dare bring the real camera along for my first skating adventure with Jackson (I was solo, Dad stayed home with Amelia) since both of my hands were, er, occupied, to say the least.
But these little skates are the first skates that Jackson ever wore! And he loved it! And he did great! And he only fell, oh I don't know, a gazillion times (some on purpose) but learned how to get up by himself on the ice within minutes and keep on going!
This hour on the ice with my little boy was absolutely the highlight of my week and positively the best ten bucks I've spent in a long time (admission x 2 + skate rental for him). I wasn't sure what to expect from him since almost-three-year-old boys can be a little unpredictable, but he was hooked from the moment he saw all of the other people flying around the rink. "I want to do that! Can I go like that Mommy?"
I grew up in a skating household (this is Minnesota, after all). My brother played hockey (yah you betcha) and my sister and I had pretty white figure skates. She went way further with lessons than I did, but we both were in a bunch of shows and got to wear pretty little skating skirts and legwarmers back when they were originally popular (and we pulled them all the way up to actually keep our legs warm!). This photo is from one of my shows, I think I was one of Little Orphan Annie's orphans, but I don't remember what Pooh had to do with the show (he was my neighbor and buddy).
Skating is filled with sensory memories for me: the sound of the blades on the ice, the smell of the ice arena, the taste of the bad hot chocolate from a machine...I could go on and on. There is nothing like walking into an ice arena with your skating bag slung over your shoulder, not being able to get your skates on fast enough to get out there and attempt - once again - to skate like the Olympic skaters. Even though you suck and never learned that much in all those lessons, you still fly fast around the rink with your arms stretched wide and a huge "for the cameras" smile and pretend...
Yeah. I didn't get to do that last part on Sunday since - being the solo parent with the kid - I was completely entrenched with helping Jackson stay "afloat" on the rink.
But oh! what fun we had!
I helped him "fly" a few times by holding him tightly in front of me while I whisked us around a bit (he adored that). I also practiced my backwards bottlecaps while pulling him towards me (he loved that too). But mostly, we just practiced falling and getting up, falling and getting up, marching around, falling and getting up. Brilliant.
I'm so excited for the outdoor rinks to be flooded so we can go whenever we want (and for free). I know Jackson is excited to go again (he's talked about it every day since) but I think it's the Mom who can't wait for Santa to bring him a new pair of skates under the tree this year. Off to write my letter to Mr. Claus to request an early delivery...
All I want for Christmas is to skate with my son again. It was the best time we've had together in a long time. Do you think that getting him hooked on skating now will secure his place in the 2026 winter Olympics? He wears a size 9, if you're so inclined. (Oh! And even though he's had a few time-outs this week, I'd still recommend him for the "nice" list.) Any chance for an early delivery this year?
Jackson's Mom (a.k.a. "Katie")