First Time Ice Skater

Madison visited Ice Palace for the first time today. It’s safe to say she liked it.

I really did give it a shot.

I really did give it a shot.

I have a checkered history with Ice Palace. The first time I tried ice skating was the summer before my freshman year at Damien. The last time I went to Ice Palace, I spent most of my time there passed out on the bleachers mumbling “No, Matty!” – in a haze that’s still embarrassing today – as the rest of the summer fun enjoyed their field trip. I tried to skate again today, to see if anything had changed after 20 years. Nope. I still skate about as well as I swim.

How the hell does any one ever skate?

How the hell does any one ever skate?

I started the day in on the walkers in the tiny circuit with Madison. It took a few turns to figure out how to get any kind of momentum going, but by then I wanted to quit already. My feet hurt so horribly! Even walking in them on the rubberized surface surrounding the rink, the bottoms of my feet and the toes on the outside of my feet were so sore. I gave up and put my sneakers back on, and oh my God, I can’t recall the last time I felt so happy. I was happy to spend the rest of our time there snapping pictures of my girls moving gracefully over the ice.

K-den, mom and dad.

K-den, mom and dad.

Before long, Madison no longer needed (or wanted) any assistance from Lynnette or me. She figured out how to propel herself much more quickly than when she had first started. Lynnette and I watched her from the Jamba Juice side, and man, was that a mistake. Lynnette and I found out much too late that parents sit on the bleachers while middle-schoolers and their raging hormones reside on the Jamba Juice side. Apparently if you are a girl in your early teens, it is fashionable to call every other female – even your friends – a “hoe.” While your vocabulary may consists mostly of swears, you may also have a deep well of synonyms for the word “angry” so as to describe your current state of mind, particularly in terms of your relationships with those around you. We moved after about five minutes.

Confidence!

Confidence!

Eventually, Madison gained enough courage to leave the comfort of the walker and the coned-off area to do a few laps with Lynnette (because despite the passing of time, she is still as athletic as ever). I watched Mad fall a few times, but her body and spirits remained unbroken. Earlier in the week when we decided to go to Ice Palace (because we thought it was going to rain during the last two days), Madison was hesitant. “I don’t know how to skate!” she said. Well, she didn’t want to leave. “You two should definitely come her over the summer,” Lynnette said. She’s right. It’s $11, I tie a pair of shoes, then watch my daughter move in circles for a couple of hours. “Would you want to come back again?” I asked Madison as we walked back to the car. “Yeah, yeah!” she said.

Ice Palace Review

Pros: arguably the best air conditioning in town;  the resulting novelty of being able to see one’s breath; the proud service of Coca-Cola products; watching your kid truly enjoy herself.

Cons: overpriced pizza; uncomfortable seats; middle-schoolers who speak as though reading dialogue from a Quentin Tarantino film.

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