Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't kill the pig boys, go ice skating!

At the beginning of winter, staying indoors with the kids is fine. Then suddenly, the big climax of Christmas is over and things get ugly. It's like Lord of the Flies. The kids are bored and violent. It's only a matter of time before poor Piggy will get it.

The boys have been hoping to try skating and I decided now would be the time to get going with that. When we bought the skates, the boys convinced me they needed black ski masks too, so we could swing by the bank and conduct a quick hold-up on our way to the rink. This would be Jack's dream come true because he has often confessed to me that he wants to have a career as a bankrobber one day. After he has retired from being a pirate.

That first day, Jack waddled around stiff-legged, not daring to move too fast. He kept smiling and saying, "I can't believe how good I'm getting!" Dylann cruised around, falling constantly, but getting back up without a word and moving right along. He watched the older boys intently, seeing how they turned their feet so the blades hit the ice just right to bring themselves to a stop. After an hour of skating, he taught himself how to do that too.

Jack climbed the mountains of snow surrounding the rink and announced that this was the north pole. A couple times he fell over and couldn't get up, just like the kid on A Christmas Story. Dylann helped him back up. Even though brothers routinely smack each other as hard as they can for no reason, they help each other up when times are tough.

As it got later, the lights on the ice made it seem even more cold. You could see where countless kids, and a few grown ups, had cut their own marks into the ice. Older boys stumbled out of the ice shack in t-shirts and jeans and random pieces of outerwear, gloves, hats, scarves, taking a few laps around the ice before ducking back into the shack where it was warm.

Watching the boys skate in the dark, standing on the cold ice in nothing more than running shoes with warm socks, I realized something. My mind wasn't creating lists of things to buy at the grocery store and I wasn't taking inventory of all the junk I have to pack and give away. I wasn't even pondering how much it would cost to have an entire room of the house padded with foam and soundproofed, you know, as a playroom.

At least for a while, I knew that I was exactly where I wanted to be.


Becky said...

It's always startling when you realize that, isn't it? I'm always relieved when I finally am able to let go of the day and really enjoy my kids.

Hey, thanks for de-lurking, and I'm totally adding you as a link. You write very well.

cameo said...


Meems said...

Sounds like the perfect winter activity. Much better than pig killing.