So.. the school my kids go to is very diverse, but somehow there aren’t alot of African American kids in my oldest son’s class. We have this ongoing discussion with him about being African American and that some people call us Black. “I’m not black, I’m brown” he argues. True. I mean if you go by the Crayola box he is definitely in the brown row.
Anyway we just want to make sure the boys get a healthy inclusion of other boys who look like them in their life. So I sent out an e-mail to book club to see if anyone wanted to get their boys together. I hope it doesn’t sound pathetic, like I am soliciting for friends. I mean I’m not working toward an arranged marriage or anything.
Anyway, Brenda wrote back suggesting we go roller-skating. This is the same in-shape woman who suggested the African Dance class last month. Ahhh, but this time I can take Charles in case my body breaks down.
So we go to the skate rental counter. We get four pair of skates, but before we can go to the floor they ask for one of my youngest son’s boots. Huh? It’s their form of security-like a deposit. Okay, but these skates are worth alot more than his little raggedy boot. I’m not saying we’d walk out with them, but it’s not a fair deal for them.
We found a table to sit at while we laced up. So we then realize we have coats, hats mittens, boots but nowhere to put them. Then we find out there are lockers you can rent for a quarter to store your stuff in. Great, think we have change? Nope. Chas had to run to the car to get a quarter.
We are at the table for two minutes and the boys are in their skates. And they are ready to roll-kind of. They are slipping and sliding and I can barely catch them. Dammit- I can’t find Charles and honestly, I’m too scared to stand up.
I really was excited to skate. Well, until I had to. I finally do stand up and realize something frightening. I CAN’T SKATE! Oh man, it’s been about 18 years since I tried this. Let me just say it is not “just like riding a bike.” It’s just like feeling like a fool.
The whole family makes it to the floor. The way it is set up there are three “lanes”. The fastest skaters go on the outside. The not-so-fast skaters go on the next lane. And those with zero ability go to the inside. How the hell does this make sense? I have to cross 2 lanes of sporadic fast skaters to get to my designated lane?
Screw it. We just headed to our lane and hoped the more experienced skaters would see our train wreck coming, show mercy on us and slow down.
Yes! We made it. But once we got there the boys were falling down every 20 seconds. And with my oldest they were dramatic falls. He would lean forward, then lean back, forward and back. And then-boom!
I felt bad when they would fall, but I literally couldn’t help them. I either couldn’t find my balance or was unable to stop. So I would see them on the floor and would say, “Okay, get back up, you’re fine.” which really translated as “Mommy is saving herself first. I’ll send for help!”
It was a really fun afternoon. I think Brenda and her family had a nice time. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to chat much as our family didn’t make it too far out of the “slow” lane.
I am so glad Charles was there. I could not have done it if he wasn’t. He is a very good skater and was able to hold hands with the boys and help them out. At one point my youngest hit the floor really hard. Charles skated to him right away. It was so frustrating for me to see him crying and not be able to be with him immediatley-just couldn’t find a quick exit across the fast lanes.
It was such a nice time. Later at Pizza Hut (yeah because spending the 25 bucks on skating wasn’t enough) our youngest said he had a great time and asked if we could go back there some day. And despite feeling like a newborn giraffe on wheels (okay I don’t really know what that feels like), I think we will.