by Sara Spock-Carlson
I haven’t been ice skating in years. I could easily say that the opportunity hasn’t come up or that I don’t have many friends who like to skate, but I’d be lying. Ice skating is a winter tradition in my family. Hockey, figure skating, we love it all. My siblings and I used to walk miles through the frozen wasteland of suburban New Jersey to reach our favorite little skating spot. We’d pack a thermos of tea and skate for hours on treacherous patches of a half-frozen river. The spins, lutzes, salchows, lunges, and lifts weren’t learned techniques, but a byproduct of trying to find the most secure section of ice. A half a dozen neighborhood kids would leap from one scrap to another, tossing the smaller kids over watery gaps, in hopes that no one landed ankle deep.
Through all of our death defying feats, I don’t remember anyone getting hurt. That came later, when we moved our ice capades to an indoor arena. Balanced on one skate with the other high above my head, one might say my execution was flawless. My choice in partner however, wasn’t. Sure, he was cute, but his klutz skills would put Don Knotts to shame.
When he tripped the first time, I should have disengaged to lock and load with another cohort. But I let it go with a teeny bopper giggle and we tried again. His second fumble jostled us forward and he completely lost his footing, forcing me to the ice. My support leg was the first to hit the ice, but it didn’t break until a spindly mass of awkward 16 year old boy landed on top of it. He blushed and moved off, offering a hand to help me up while attempting to keep his footing. The angst and embarrassment could have been endearing if an ostrich hadn’t just laid an egg on my knee cap. Six months of recovery, including various forms of casts, immobilizers, braces, and physical therapy, made me rethink winter family traditions and clumsy, cute boys.
Sara Spock-Carlson is a mom, wife, anthropology student, lab assistant, English tutor, and freelance writer. Sara can be found hiding at her green-living blog or at the Sex Lab. No, that’s not what we’re calling it these days.
Image credit: flickr.com