Speaking of all of this ice and snow, Evie and I have been doing a lot of ice skating this winter.
I’d say she has continued to improve pretty steadily. I don’t know if it’s the extra practice or just being a year older, but she has taken a significant step forward this year. In particular she finally seems interested in skating by herself (as in, not holding onto my hand hand having me pull her).
The nice thing about ice skating is that it’s really just a special time between the two of us. We don’t spend a lot of time together without Ollie or Sara, so it makes this kind of special. I also feel particularly proud watching her, since I’ve seen her go from not being able to stand, to being able to keep her legs under her, to really skating on her own and enjoying it. I can see that she feels proud of herself, which makes me feel proud in turn.
In fact, the other day I asked her if she had ever actually seen figure skating. I mean, everybody knows what figure skating looks like, right? But she never had. As soon as I tried to explain it to her, I realized how much she would love it. “It’s like ballet dancing, except on ice. It’s smooth and graceful, like they’re flying.”
When we got home, I queued up a video of Tara Lipinski at the 1998 Olympics. Evie drank in the whole thing with a rapt look on her face. I don’t know if it was seeing Evie’s eyes opening on this beautiful new thing, or maybe the side by side comparison of Evie learning to skate and then this tiny little girl skating her heart out and winning gold, but whatever it was, it got me. I just started sobbing my eyes out. Pretty soon Evie started sobbing too, even though she didn’t understand why I was crying. Heck, *I* didn’t know why I was crying. “I’m crying because you’re crying!” she said.
In any case, ice skating has done pretty well by us.
Now that Evie can skate by herself, I think we can start taking Ollie with us as well. We just took him for the first time this year and he did pretty well. I think that he’ll learn a little quicker than Evie because he has the twin advantages of not quite being so cautious, and being more of an outdoor kind of person. He really doesn’t seem to feel the cold, and consequently, he doesn’t want to come in off the ice.
The only downside is that the rink was recently sold to a new owner. There are now signs up about charging admission, and the price of skate rental has almost doubled. There have been conflicting reports about the price (people I know have been charged $3, $13, and $16, with no rhyme or reason as to why), and they don’t seem very diligent about who they actually charge, but if it starts to be expensive it will certainly limit the amount of time we spend over there.
In the meantime though, we’ll get in all the bonding time we can.