I’m sitting on ice. Yea, it is cold, but hopefully it will prevent swelling. It was supposed to be an evening of quality time. Instead, the evening fell flat on its bottom.
Earlier, two fifths of our family had dressed up in a fancy dress and suit. She wore new shoes. He wore a new bowtie. They looked sharp in their coordinating attire. Then, off they went to the Father Daughter Dance at church.
The remaining three fifths of our family headed to Rohnert Park. Not three minutes down the road, and the oldest was already asking, “How much longer?” Goodness, how did we ever survive the 8 hour road trips to visit family?! After we parked, my sons burst out of the car to run into Cal-Skate. As I paid for our evening of fun, my oldest asked in a surprised tone, “You’re gonna skate too, Mommy?” I should have taken that as some foreshadowing.
As we laced up our skates, the memories flooded back. I remembered how to wrap the laces around my ankle to not have too much string hanging down the sides. I can do this, I thought. The boys were eager to get out on the rink. My oldest took off around the rink. My second held the carpeted edge and walked more than skated. I ventured out in the stream of people to stretch my old skating muscles.
As soon as we got started though, free skate stopped and a competition was called. Beginning with those under the age of 10, my oldest skated out to the start line. Three . . . two . . . one . . . and they were off! My oldest lagged behind and finished last, but I applauded his bravery to volunteer for the race. As they increased the ages for the races, I faced a dilemma: get out there to up the ante of fun for my boys or not embarrass myself. I, it seems a little wimpy now, but I chose the latter. Racing my second lap around the rink in oh, ten years, didn’t seem like a good idea. Although with what happened later, what would have been the harm of a race?
After getting a bit more comfortable on my skates, I left my second son to skate alone for awhile. As I rounded a turn, my right skate hit something on the floor. I wobbled and tried to keep my balance. My arms waved around in vain, and my feet came out from under me. Boom! I went down right on my bottom. This is gonna hurt, I thought. As I got up, I thought that no matter how much it hurt, I should set a good example for my boys.
My second son was sitting out at the tables already. My get-back-up-after-you-fall and even-mommy-falls motivational talk fell on deaf ears. He had moved on, “Can I have money?” He wanted to play the arcade games. My tonight-is-for-quality-time-not-souvenirs speech didn’t receive a standing ovation either. We reached a compromise – soda and a hot pretzel.
Sitting on ice with a bruised tailbone, my bruised ego reflected on the evening. Hopefully we will laugh about this in the future as my boys remember that their Mommy would even skate with them.
Jenny Klouse is the Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the North Bay. Besides ministering to college students, she enjoys speaking, writing, and photography.
If you enjoyed this adventure, read A Coastal New Year
To learn more about the author, visit Jenny Klouse
Plan your own skating adventures at Cal-Skate