Last winter a friend of mine invited me and the girls to go to a morning pre-school roller-skating event. I never took her up on it--this, that and the other reason, but I guess my biggest hold-back was it just sounded like too much work. My brain threw up all sorts of reasons why not to go: The girls were too little, they wouldn't enjoy it, I didn't want to be around a crowd of other little kids, the girls had never gone roller skating before.... Whatever. The bottom line was, we didn't go.
When the invitation came up again last month, I still was hesitant, but as there was no excuse not to go (and I always enjoy time with this friend, and our kids enjoy each other) we tentatively planned the outing for today. I called yesterday to check if she still could go, and in the back of my mind I almost hoped she'd say, "You know, we aren't going to be able to go after all...." But she was totally up for it, and so I said, "Yes! We'll go!"
So this morning I got the kids bundled up and out the door, one, two, three.... And we only got there 20 minutes late (sheesh!). The skate is a once-a-week event, 10-11:30 a.m. at a local roller-skating rink, set up specifically for pre-schoolers. The price of admission includes skate rental (for mom as well as kids who want them), and a snack for the kids. You're allowed to bring strollers (so Jonathan got to roll around), and any sort of push/ride toy with no peddles. We carted in a push car that Ev still fits in.
Once in, Clare looked for her pal; her plan was to watch him first before she had anything to do with skates (though she knew she would have to try them, as Kraig had insisted she would and had no choice in the matter!). As soon as she saw my friend's daughter who's a little over two-years-old trotting across the rink on skates, Clare decided perhaps this skating thing wasn't so scary after all. It also helped that the music was fun and the lights were enticing, and there really weren't many people. We trucked on over to the skate pick-up and exchanged our shoes for heavy skates from a pleasant older man who looked like one of my grandfathers. I can't tell you how thankful I was that the skates weren't roller blades! I've never been on roller blades.... In fact, the last time I went skating was about fifteen years ago in college. Did they even have roller blades then?
The skates went on, the music thrummed, the lights danced, and suddenly I was flying again. Weight of heavy skates was forgotten; weight of the world was forgotten! Okay, so I had three little ones to watch out for, but there were moments to fly, and it was so fun to watch them enjoying it, too! Clare took careful steps, and slipped and fell a few times, but each time she was up again with a smile and ready to take off again. Ev was twice as stable, as usual, but you figure her center of gravity is that much lower as well. Jon-boy grinned and cooed, watched the lights and enjoyed the movement of his stroller.... My friend and I reminisced childhood skating memories, caught up on family news bits, talked REAL moms stuff (that's our moms' group name, though I suppose it could be taken the other way as well :) ).
In short, it was a BLAST and I can't wait till we can go again! And I was reminded (yes, it's a lesson I've had before) that I need to stop being afraid of trying something new, and that it's worth pushing out of my comfort zone. It is always worth remembering how to fly....