Saturday, July 24, 2010

Something to start with.

Hi. I'm a new skating mom. New, because I've only been doing this with my kid for a few months now, but I'm sensing a spiral into something I can't fully control, and I can't talk about it for reasons I'll go into later.

So, hi. **waves at internets. Patient and quiet internets that listens to all ramblings on anonymous blogs.**

Let me tell you a little about me. I'm 33, a relatively young mother, with absolutely no history in skating whatsoever. I never skated as a child, beyond the few field trips to the roller rink and I doubt that counts.

In 1993, the skating world was all aflurry with the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan fiasco. You couldn't turn on the TV without seeing one or both of them, skating around or hobbling off. Something like that. I think it was then that I got entranced by skating. I was fifteenish, so far too old to ever do anything Olympic, but still young enough to learn to skate.

My mom, however, didn't see things that way. A few years later, when Michelle Kwan won her Silver, I think she saw the glimmer in my eyes. She was ever the bountiful font of love and support, my mom. "Do you know how much that costs?" she sneered. "They have to pay for all that time on the ice!"

I didn't reply. How could I? We were a poor family of two, and dad never sent the child support checks on time. She kept going. "And do you know they have to go practice at five in the morning! Five!"

Now, this part didn't seem so bad. Five in the morning was pretty routine for the two of us, who frequently drove off to the far corners of our state to attend boring meetings for Masonic Youth. Ice skating sounded a lot better than sitting in a car or in a boring meeting.

But, the money and the early mornings ruled out skating for me entirely. I think every little girl has the same dreams; be a princess, a ballerina, a gymnast, or figure skater. I think some girls get chances to try out those dreams, whether it be a princess for her daddy, a ballerina for a day at some recital, a gymnast until she hurts something, or a figure skater until the ice gets too hard. But she gets to try, right?

I never got to try. It's just as well. If Tonya Harding was known for her "thick thighs", then I'd be one of the Budweiser Clydesdales out there. I've got a sturdy build, there's nothing winnowy about me whatsoever. A Skating Dress, with it's petite A-Line would have looked ridiculous on me. My arms tree branches, my legs are muscled and thick. My waist, where is that? I saw it once, but then I discovered booze and away it went. Further, my self esteem at that age could never had withstood skating girls. Nah, I was an outdoor girl. Camping, hiking, boating, fishing, catching blue crab and roasting them on a fire. Those were truly the days. Figure skating? I'd have gotten the ice dirty.

But sometimes, late at night, I'd listen to my walkman and I'd dream. I'd see myself gliding across the ice in a white spotlight, my tiny dress on my tiny frame, shimmering silver as I spun and twirled to a crescendo of music. Skating belonged to the safety of my dreams. As the years passed, even those dreams quieted to nothing. Eventually, skating fell out of my awareness. Even during Olympic years, I'd cycle through channels, pause briefly on figure skating, and keep flipping.

That's that, right? A girlhood dream, gone forever by circumstance and fate, much like the dozens of other dashed girlhood dreams of a million other girls. No big loss.

Nope. No loss at all.

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