Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Roller Skating Taught Me About Living

I have a recurring dream about roller skating:
I am in the halls of my high school.  Lights are bright and there is no ceiling.  I am screaming at people to get out of my way, waving my hands frantically, jumping the stairs, whipping past the office.  I am a comedy bit that ends poorly.  Always in a pile in front of the library.  And then my mouth fills with the taste of onion...
I don't know where the dream comes from. I hadn't put on a pair of roller skates since I was 17 when I used to go to The Forum and wait for boys to ask me to 'couple skate' to Guardian's Never Gonna Say Goodbye.

Needless to say, when my sister invited us to the free Family Day roller skating at the ancient rink beside her house, I was a little apprehensive.

"I'm scared," I whispered to Noa as I tightened up her skate.

"But you're a grown-up, Mommy," she told me wisely.

Poor girl, she was the one who took a tumble before we even got out to the floor. Big tears and a crowd of spectators who didn't try to help while I struggled to lift her back up without my own wheels slipping out from under me.  

roller skating, fear of falling, fear of missed chances
"Don't let me fall, Mommy!"

"I won't, baby, but you have to help me too."

Our whole life can be spent afraid of falling; sitting on the sidelines because we're afraid of scraped knees and bruised egos.

I want to live life in the spirit of my boys - that Liam wild-star who goes at everything full speed and falls and falls and bounces back up like he's made of rubber.  And Zander, so awkward and unathletic but really really doing it and laughing and red-faced and HAVING FUN!

Sweet Noa, one hand so tight in mine and her arm tense like a branch, her other hand holding the edge of the sideboards like a life preserver.  Slowly. Slowly. With her little fingers clinging firm I find a rhythm with my feet and slowly, slowly coax her from the wall.

And we're doing it.  She's doing it.  And it's fun and it's strange and we're doing it!

I look along the edge, at the parents sitting, observing instead of living, and I know how easy it would have been for me to be too afraid and it makes me terribly sad.  Then Liam whizzes by me, his grin breaking his face and I know he loves me more now because I'm right there with him and his goofy smile says, 'Mom, you're kinda awesome!' and he laughs as he slaps my bottom and I squeal louder than the crackling speakers.

I am much more afraid of missed chances than I am of falling.  A bruise fades long before a memory does. Life is about living. And learning. And growing. And roller skating even when you're scared.

I wonder if my dream will change now that I've faced the beast...?

33 comments :

  1. "I am much more afraid of missed chances than I am of falling." --so much weight held in those words. Bravo for giving it a go! (Don't you HATE when people will stare at you trying to help someone but do nothing to actually try to help [as when Noa fell]?? Drives me bonkers!)

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    1. I know! I don't even know what that's about. Especially when it's a little girl. People get so wrapped up in their own stuff (ahem *phones) that they can't set that aside long enough to help...heaven forbid a level of candy crush gets interrupted! ;)

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  2. Falling really hurts BAD, but we will be back love seeing the joy in my kids smile.

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    1. Griffin was a little powerhouse zooming around that floor. No fear!

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  3. What a sweet post! Such a great reminder of how much more fulfilling life can be when we push past our fears and try something new. What a great example you are for your children.

    Cheers,
    Lisa

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  4. Great insight! I love roller skating. It's time to take my children again soon. We haven't been in a while.

    Kingdom Life & Blessings

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    1. I was very happy when I discovered that even fifteen years later I could still navigate the rink without looking like a total mess :) A little like riding a bike...once I got into the rhythm

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  5. Love this! As a parent, I've found myself trying things I never dreamt of, and those shared experiences are beautiful.

    Found you via BYB

    http://notastepfordlife.blogspot.ca

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    1. Absolutely! But I have to keep reminding myself or I stay back - it's a bit of a battle but every 'victory' is worth it. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. We lived in the country within a mile of the community center and skated every weekend. Of course this was back in the days of being able to walk anytime after dark and not be in danger. I still think lovingly of those days. Thanks for reminding me.

    #BB100

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    1. You're most welcome - thanks for stopping by and following. I'm very happy to be from a very small town that I would call quite safe; however, I think media has ruined any chance of a lovely late night walk alone - no matter how safe a community feels. I have way too much of an over-active imagination to try

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  7. We went roller skating a few weeks ago - and I did not skate...Too afraid of falling. (Although, I am pregnant -so, I may have given it a try otherwise... We we go back (after baby is born), I will reconsider!

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    1. Pregnancy is a totally appropriate excuse! You don't want anything to happen to that baby! But yes, try again another 'less pregnant' time - it's really not so bad ;) Congrats and good luck with baby!!!

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  8. Good for you for being out there and skating with them and making memories!
    I took my daughter to her first skate party this year. All the other parents were sitting on the sides, but I got some skates (haven't done that in 20 years!) and held her hand as she went around those first few times.
    She was outskating me in no time! :)

    Stopping in from BYB.

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    1. Kids, eh?! My seven-year-old was whipping around me like a freight train - absolutely NO FEAR! I like to think a little fear is healthy. Good for you for getting out there and showing your daughter how it's done!

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  9. "I look along the edge, at the parents sitting, observing instead of living, and I know how easy it would have been for me to be too afraid and it makes me terribly sad." Too many times I have been this parent - afraid of falling, afraid of failing, afraid of what others thought of me. You are so right, though, the memories are much more important than any bruising we may get.

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    1. Thanks for your comment - I hope you've been inspired to step out from the wall :) It's hard, believe me, I know! but it's so worth it. The kids just shine...of course, mine aren't old enough to be embarrassed by a participating mommy yet...I wonder what those days will be like for me??? Gotta get 'em while they're young and still think I'm relatively cool!

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  10. What a beautiful post! It's wonderful that you participated in the skating and the fun! I really want to be a parent like this :) I wish I had my son's ... fearlessness. That kid is a year and a half old, runs around like a madman, climbs, and tries out new things all the time. He falls sometimes, hard, and my husband and I will cringe, waiting for the tears to come because it must have hurt. He rarely cries though! That kid is so resilient. I want to be like him when I grow up.

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    1. Your son sounds just like my Liam - brace yourself - they only get braver. But so so so much fun (when you're not holding your breath, waiting for a bone to break!) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  11. Wonderful words and oh so true. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. This:

    A bruise fades long before a memory does.

    Is so cool! Too often, especially now that my kids are 'big' and have cars and jobs and don't need me anymore, I find myself sitting it out. Watching. Or even not bothering to watch. I have to remind myself to engage more. Even if they don't seem to care or even notice. Because we all want to be loved and feel important to the people we love.

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    1. That's right! Even if they pretend they don't care if we watch or not I think they really do.

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  13. Great post- so often I wonder how much I am missing out on by not being present in the moment. I haven't been skating since I was a teenager either- might be a fun activity to try with my boys!

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    1. You totally should. I was amazed at how our kids took to it. And there's just something so fun about engaging together in something so retro! Great memories are made :)

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  14. I used to really be into roller blading. Now I'm not even sure where I put my blades! #BB100

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    1. There's no time like the present to retry an old trick :)

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  15. So sweet! Maybe the dream was more if an impression on what you should do. Sounds like you guys had a great time! Makes me want to go try it again myself, its been way too many years!

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    1. You should!!

      I'm so glad the dream didn't present itself as reality at the rink - that would have resulted in a completely different sobbing kind of story ;)

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  16. Ah, roller skating! I've taken my kids a few times, and in spite of my firm resolution NOT to skate, I've had to get out there with them in order to get them to try it. I didn't fall, thank God. :-)

    I struggle with fear all the time. I can see my kids following in my footsteps, and I don't like it. Your post has encouraged me to face more beasts and get out there. Thank you.

    How have I never heard of Guardian? I clicked over to that video and I am LOVING that song. #BB100

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    1. Oh my goodness! That song defined a big chunk of my adolescence!!!

      Glad you were encouraged by this post :) Thanks for stopping by to comment

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  17. A lovely and inspiring post! I often find myself not doing something because of fear and I wouldn't like to set such an example to my daughter. .

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