Monday, January 16, 2023

#MicroblogMondays: Skater boy :)

I've never been very athletic, but there were two physical sports/skills I mastered at a basic level when I was growing up:  swimming and skating.  I learned to skate as a pre-schooler in the classic Canadian style:  on a backyard rink that my dad made for us in the garden behind our house in a small Saskatchewan town, on a pair of hockey skates borrowed from the neighbour boys across the street, hanging onto a TV tray for balance. 

From there, I progressed to taking figure skating lessons, from the time I was about 5 until I was about 13. I never got very far, but I developed a love of the sport that continues to this day. During the five years we lived in one small town in northwestern Manitoba, we lived a short walk down the back alley to the skating rink (which was across the street from the curling rink). Between figure skating lessons, public skating sessions and watching hockey practices and games, and my sister, friends & I practically lived there during the long winter months. (I wrote about the old rink and my skating days there in this post from 2015.) I haven't been on skates in about 40 years now (gulp) -- I'm not sure I would do it these days (if I did, I would be wearing a helmet and lots of padding!! -- something I never had to worry about as a kid...!) -- but in my mind, I can still do it. ;)  And of course, I fully intended to enroll Katie in skating lessons when she was old enough... 

Dh & BIL both learned to skate, albeit dh hasn't been on skates in 40-some years either. BIL & one of the cousins used to play hockey together, and teenaged dh, five years older than they were, was tasked with taking them to their games -- on the subway, fully dressed in all their equipment!! -- and then getting them home again (often stopping first for hamburgers at a nearby fast-food restaurant). 

Older Nephew was never that much into hockey, growing up. Neither he nor Younger Nephew ever played, although they did both learn to skate. 

Then he married his wife, whose mom's partner (essential, his wife's stepdad) is a former player (I think he even played a few games in the NHL), and developed a passion for the game (to the point that he now has the Philadelphia Flyers logo tattooed on one of his arms!). (Not the Leafs??)  Between the two of these guys, it was inevitable that Little Great-Nephew would, at the very least, learn to skate.  

Shortly after Christmas, they took him to a family skating session at the local arena for the very first time (and then a second). We were still at my parents' place our west, but got a huge kick out of the photos and videos that both of the proud parents posted on social media. 

This past weekend, LGN's cheering section/fan club -- the biggest one there that day! lol -- included not only his parents and maternal grandparents but also his paternal grandparents (BIL & SIL) and dh & me.  :)  There weren't any early-afternoon public skating sessions available at the local arena where they'd been taking, so Older Nephew & his wife took LGN to another arena in another small town nearby.  He & his wife's stepdad took LGN out on the ice, with a "skating trainer" for him to hang onto. He was happy to see us all there (and, between stints on the ice, had a blast crawling up & down the bleachers and eating snacks -- which everyone knows is half the fun of spending time at the rink, lol).  

Little Great-Nephew, age 3, with a skating trainer. ❤
By the end of the hour, he was able to take a few steps/strokes without it! 
(The skating rink must also double as the town's curling rink, as you can 
probably tell from the circles painted on the ice...!)
I'll admit I got teary watching the little helmeted figure out on the ice, with his dad & grandad nearby encouraging him and helping him up when he fell. (But I was still able to take a ton of photos & videos, lol.)  It sure brought back a lot of memories.  

Every now & then, his grandad would swoop him up in his arms & then zoom around the ice at a fast speed with him. LGN would spread his arms out like he was flying, with a huge grin on his face. Magical.  :)  

(Not sure how long he'll be able to do that! -- he's getting pretty big!)  

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, that's beautiful. What a special day.

    Skating always sounded and looked so wonderful, but so foreign! Like skiing. I always wanted to be able to do it. There was one outdoor rink about 2-3 hours away open only for a very short period in the winter. I went once, but had an important dance examination only a couple of days later, so was ultra careful of my ankles. Have never had the opportunity to try again. Sigh.