Thing 2's class went on a field trip to the skating rink this morning, and I tagged along. I seem to be an anomoly amongst parents, in that I love going on field trips. I hardly ever get to go any more, because I'm working more hours and I think when your kids are younger, you feel the need to be with your kid because OH MY GOD WHAT IF SHE NEEDS ME AND I'M NOT THERE, which you do not feel once they are a bit older. Like, not even a little bit. So I was the only Grade 7 mother there.
Anyway, the Grade 7s went skating with their "reading buddies", the Kindergarten class. There are about 32 Grade 7s and about 18 Kindergarteners, so you can imagine that some little ones are smothered in "reading buddies". The idea was that the older kids would help the younger ones skate, but because March Break starts next week, there were plenty of kids away, and the upshot was that there were way more older ones than little ones, and the older ones were not the least bit interested in the little kids at all. They were way more interested in staging a production of "Hormones on Ice".
Skating is hard. Like, literally, hard. There are sharp blades and solid boards to keep you from tumbling right out of the rink and the ice....my God, the ice. Falling on ice is brutal...that stuff does NOT give way, and you will rattle your teeth and hear your brain clang around in your skull. I've had a couple of falls in my time that might explain my inability to do long division or parallel park.
I'm a pretty good skater; I don't go too fast, but I also don't fall down and I look respectable. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a good enough skater that I could skate with my hands in my pockets; for some reason, that looked to be the height of agility and confidence when I was about 9. I never did get there, but I can skate well enough to make me enjoy it. The Mister is and excellent skater, since he played hockey from the day he could walk, like all Canadian males. He can skate with his hands in his pockets. Thing 2 used to have a kid in her class who's dad played in the NHL...when he came on the skating field trips, he could not only skate with his hands in his pockets, he could skate carrying a full-sized Kindergartener on each arm. I was enchanted.
You could easily tell which kids had done this before and which ones had not. The hockey players, boys and girls, swooped and turned and tore around like pinballs. There were a couple of kids who had never skated before, mostly kids from other countries. The Korean kids took about four steps before they had it all figured out, and were skating in no time. The kids from the Middle East and South Africa had a bit tougher time out there, but they certainly kept at it, long after I would have given up.
Skating is fun...I should do it more often. Of course, it's even more fun when there's other people to watch.