The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


You Skating, Happy Fools!

As soon as we stepped onto the ice, I was ready to turn back, convinced that this was a foolish mistake. Not only did I have to keep my five-year old daughter upright, but what would a fall do to my fifty+-year-old body?

Fortunately, I resisted the impulse to escape and we began the long loop around the indoor skating rink. Though we started clumsily, trying out different support positions, we worked out a way to go around safely -- Emma holding the rink wall with one hand and onto me with the other.

Slipping back to the time when my father taught me to skate, I heard myself intoning, “Left, two-three; right, two-three; left, two-three; right, two-three. . . ” in a continuous recitation that gave Emma and me greater confidence and poise. For two hours we gently skated together until Emma could take off on her own for moments at a time. “I did it myself, Mommy! I did it myself” she proudly declared.

As we sipped hot chocolate during one of our breaks, I thought of times long past when my childhood family spent Sundays skating on the ponds and lakes in and around Detroit. There I was, the Michelin child, bundled in leggings, scarf and a plastic gray jacket, wobbling around the pond in Palmer Park or skating beside my father as we ventured to the middle of Kensington Lake to see the ice fishermen in their tiny huts.

Often, my brother, an ice hockey wizard, would fly past me, literally skating circles around me or showing off his backward moves. My mom, smiling, enjoyed the fresh air and exercise. These were happy times.

Going to the skating rink with Emma triggered other memories, too: the best way to lace up ice skates, feeding Cheese Nips to the ducks at Palmer Park, the funny hats my parents wore -- my dad had a tan canvas one with woolly ear flaps, and my mom had a black furry one with gray scarf-like ties.

Also, the coldness of the air, the friendly starkness of the bare winter trees standing in a field of white snow and even the dirty brown snow edges where passing cars had tossed up loose dirt. All these live in my memory of skating in Michigan.

I often wonder, what will Emma recall from her childhood? Will it be the good times we’ve had, where we’re close and in step -- such as walking to school and talking about “Mother Earth,” or will it be those times when I’ve failed her, giving in to my tiredness rather than staying with her far into the night when she’s frightened and fighting sleep.

I’d like to imagine that one day, when she’s walking her daughter to school or teaching her to skate, a trail of memory will surface and she’ll think happily of good times when she laughed and played such as that time at the skating rink when she and her mother went round and round in earnest effort until she bravely strode out on her own, carried by her own spirit and joy.

By Nina Katz

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