Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Silver Skate Legend Lives!

I am kidding. It definitely does not.

He does look a little bit Dutch with that haircut but Hans Brinker he is not.

This week is spring break. Most of my children's friends are out of town. This isn't a big deal because my kids play really well together and we have plenty of toys, activities and things for them to do at home. However, yesterday Carmella had a play date/sleepover with her friend Reina and it was just me and Beau. This is never good because Beau does not like to be alone and requires constant entertaining. Carmella is usually that entertainment. When she is gone I become his entertainment director and companion.

Normally we go do something like run on the trail or ride bikes or, his favorite, go to the dog park (usually with the dog but sometimes not). But yesterday it was very un-spring like and was snowing and windy and just too cold to go outside and play. At least for us delicate Southern stock. Maybe if we really were Dutch we could hack it but then again we might skate better too.

Oh well.

It was too late in the day to drive into Atlanta to go to the High Museum or the Aquarium or Fernbank Science Center and I just can't do the bounce house places. So I asked him if maybe he wanted to go roller skating.

He said, "you mean like Sparkles?"

I was shocked because I didn't think Sparkles was around any more. Sparkles was where I use to skate when I was a kid.

So I Googled Sparkles and sure enough they not only are still around there was a location less than 20 minutes from our house.

I was again surprised to arrive at Sparkles and find that in 30 years not much had changed. They still have the exact same carpet and-- though this was a different Sparkles than the one I went to as a kid-- the layout is still the same. Different was instead of a disco/dance room there is now a Laser tag room. And while there was still video games galore there was also an indoor play ground. Different also was that in addition to the old school skates they now also offered inline skates.

Beau wanted the old school and I decided to go with the inline skates. I am a fairly proficient skater but it has been awhile since I wore the old school. Last time was in my mid 20's and I went with a group of friends to some nightclub in Atlanta (can not recall the name) that featured roller skating. It was a very short lived club as far as I know. I remember it being an absolute blast but I think the whole serving alcohol and roller skating on concrete was just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Sure, you did have to sign a waiver to get into the club but I am not sure how legally binding a document is that you neither remember signing or when the illegible signature does not at all resembles yours because you are so intoxicated you can barely hold the pen to sign it. But whatever, like I said, it was a fun club while it lasted. . .

I have to say that for not one second did it really occur to me that Beau might not be able to skate. Okay, well it did once the lady in line behind me with her two kids when we were getting our skate rentals asked me if Beau had skated before. I told her this was his first time and she made this knowing face that while I didn't really know what it meant felt that it probably didn't bode well for me.

Still, I thought, Beau is my kid and I have always been able to skate well. Surely he inherited my innate skating ability. Those things are totally genetic, right? No doubt, I saw those other kids out there hugging the wall, falling all over themselves and clinging for dear life to any out stretched adult hand but I figured those kids just weren't blessed with good genes. I mean, from my perspective, half the parents weren't doing that great either.

And you know, if you have read this blog, I have long cautioned you as a parent against ever having a smug moment or passing superior judgement as it ALWAYS comes back to bite you in the ass.

Too bad I didn't remember that yesterday as I watched the uncoordinated lot of parents and kids make their way slowly and painfully around the rink.

Always with the humility Nat. Always.

I'll keep saying it until it sticks. So very tired of all these lessons. . .

Nevertheless my confidence never wavered in that Beau was going to be an excellent skater. I mean, we are talking about a kid that was climbing the furniture at 5 months old --before he could ever crawl. Then he was climbing in and out of his crib at 14 months old. He learned to swim at 2 and could ride his bike without training wheels at 4. At 5 he is doing front flips (which he is not suppose to do at all because mommy said no flips, just jumping) on the trampoline. Agility, strength are his forte.

So needless to say I was shocked that putting roller skates on him turned him instantly into a muscle-less wet noodle.

I first tried holding his hand and skating next to him and he nearly brought me down with him. Next I tried me skating backwards and holding both his hands. My shoulders and arms--already tired from my hour swim that morning--couldn't take it for long. Then I tried being behind him and holding him up under his arms. How is it possible that a 47lb kid can feel like 147 lbs when he has roller skates on?

We made it around the rink twice and I relented to let him take the skates off because I was dying from holding him up. I think I burned 5000 calories the two times we went around--which I should add took about 30 minutes. The lady who made the knowing face to me probably burned 10,000 because when I saw her she was holding up both of her kids. I bet she doesn't even have to workout. She just thinks: I need to get in some cardio and strength training today. Hey kids! You guys wanna go roller skating?

So thank goodness for the indoor playground.

Oddly though,Beau just this second asked me if we could please go to Sparkles today with Carmella.

He loves roller skating, he says.

Even though it was yesterday I just don't think he is remembering the experience correctly. But, you know, maybe it is like the marathon in that you don't really remember how it is until you are running it again and at mile 23 you realize, oh yeah, this kinda sucks a little.


  1. you could ice skate the first time you tried too. And do little turns and stuff. You saw it on TV -you said- that's how you knew how. So show him a skate movie. Lala

  2. LLOL. I had the same experience with my kids (who were also riding their bikes without training wheels at age 4, crawling at 6 months, climbing everything in sight from birth... ! :), but mine was at the ICE skating rink. Is your back sore yet? My back was SOOOO sore. lol.

    My kids die of boredom without each other!

  3. My comment disappeared! Did you delete me?

  4. Steph I never delete anyone but my own.
    Don't know what happened but I never saw it. You did commment on my FB page about it so maybe that is where it is??????

  5. okay- movin on now!

  6. I can't believe I read that whole post, looking for it, and you never mentioned the ultimate difference in then and now. THE MUSIC! What music did they play???

  7. I so wish I could say they played Angel is the Centerfold or Abraabaracadabra I wanna reach out and grab ya but it was just what they play on the pop stations. Little more hip hop. Sorry Anne.