Magic on Ice

Sometimes magic happens. You know those times, when planned fun takes a twist, and around the corner there’s an adventure, and everything just falls into place? I’ve had lots of those lately – I’ve been really lucky.

Lit with glowing blue lights and brilliant green snowflakes dancing on the ice, Robson Square has its skating rink again. At one end a band (sorry, I have no clue who they were) played covers of happy, upbeat sing-along-able music, while people skated with varying degrees of ease around the rink. There were some who had surely taken figure skating as kids, some with more of a hockey style, kids playing tag, some just learning and using blue plastic frames to help them stay up. Some adults were using those too.

What a place for a kid to have his first skate!

It wasn’t a planned stop on our errands downtown on Saturday evening, but I couldn’t resist when we saw what all the fuss was about. We put on our rental skates (they were new!) and waited as a mini-zamboni cleared the ice. Cameron caught the excited mood in the air, and started dancing on his skates, playing with his balance, getting used to the feel. I should note, those rentals? Six bucks covered me and Cameron, including a helmet for him.

Finally, the gates were opened. We were among the first on the ice, with Cameron wide-eyed and holding tightly to my hands. He was determined not to fall, and somehow kept his feet under him.

A really helpful attendant helped us by getting one of the blue frames for Cameron, who eagerly let go of me in favour of independence. He wouldn’t let me help him, “No Mommy, let me do it!” But any time I moved beside or in front of him I was shooed back to play rear guard.

Slowly, skitteringly, he navigated around the rink and got the hang of it. A short break, and back out again. Now, he certainly didn’t get moving very fast, but if he thought about it, he could move himself around instead of just having his skates slide back and forth. He could turn, push forward, and even glance up and look around. Every time he looked back at me there were huge smiles.

Briefly, before it was time to go, Cameron decided enough with the frame. He instead hung from the rail for a while, carefully edging away from me, and back again. I could tell that he was just dying to let go and glide across the ice … but knew that this wasn’t the best idea to try just yet. In fact, letting go wasn’t even a great idea … yet.

There were no falls. No bumps. No tears. Just determination, followed by obvious pride and big smiles. Pure magic.


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