Monday night was our yearly visit to the local skating establishment. I guess it's not local, so much as it is a 45 minute drive from my house, but whatever. Anyway... for the past several years, First Baptist of Millington has made whatever arrangements are necessary for private access to this house of childhood glee and adult torture.
Everyone straps on the most hideous rental skates; me, while trying not to think of all of the feet that have been here before me. Of course there are always the "athletic" type who bring their own skates but I don't remember the last pair of skates I owned, thank you very much. I was probably twelve. The only reason that I put on these contraptions of death was because I distinctly remember the hum of the wheels under my feet. The feel of the wind in my hair. The exhilaration of turning a perfect corner... foot crossed over other foot. Shoot, I even remember what it feels like to spin all eight wheels in coordination until I was turning circles around my friends. I wasn't into sports as a kid. Was terrified of water skiing. Did most of the snow skiing on my face... but, I could skate. It was the perfect mix of terror and success for me. Not so much anymore:( I think that I went around the rink once.
Those wheels move much faster than they used to. And the ground is so much farther away. And the kids. Don't get me started on how FAST they fly by. My joints are so bad at this point in the game that seeing as how I have to tense EVERY muscle in my body just to stay upright that every little jerk feels like I'm in a car wreck. One time around. Off came the skates. I think that I will just watch from here on the side. where it's safe. and loud.
But, even from the side it was so cool to watch the kids with looks of pure joy on their faces. The little kids clinging to the side wall to try to catch the older ones. The middle size kids lending a hand to the smaller ones because in THIS rink they are brilliant. The teenagers laying aside their "coolness" for a moment to speed as fast as their bodies can with no one telling them to slow down. But the coolest thing for me was to watch the grown ups. For a short while, the DJ shooed the younger ones off of the rink to let the adults have free reign. For just a moment, they were kids again. The real kids lined up on the outside of the wall to watch their parents fly around the hard wood circle. What they saw was the years peal off of these givers of life. These protectors and disciplinarians and lovers of their offspring. They peeked in and saw their parents PLAY. As they played they began to pair off as if love itself drew them to each other. It was like a window into their past when they flirted and teased and held hands.
There, in the darkness of the side lines, with the music so loud that I couldn't hear myself think and the swirling black lights and the twirling disco ball I saw the circle of love. Moms and dads laughing with their children and with each other. The joy of spending time.
Thanks for the glimpse.