Laugh Before You Skate!

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Laughter restarts parts of the brain that tend to skate off to sleep in the stress or busyness of life.

Speaking of skating, my darling daughter invited me to Cora’s for a delicious lunch and then on to the Millennial Place skating rink with her, Hendrik and Frankie. Stories emerged about how their daddy, away at a conference at the time, whirled and twisted the two kids into almost Olympic shapes of wonder as Frankie illustrated swirls like a little swan, and Hendrik flew by everybody in breakneck hockey-hero speed.

OK, I admit,  I’d assumed my daughter might glide gracefully around the rink as she did, but I’d honestly expected my 6 and 7 year old grandchildren to hobble, crisscross, flop and fumble about as I planned to do the same alongside them. With a few laughs together, we’d help one another, right? Seriously, how hard could it be to get my feet on the ice while they are so young? To learn along with them to enjoy with them a winter activity they’d come to love.

My assumptions could not have been farther from the truth.

It had been so many years since I skated that every toe fought against its assigned skating role by seeming to head off in different directions, inside my rented skates. And that was before my first foot hit the slippery stuff and showed my toes there would be no contest! Then my eyes opened to another shocking reality.

To my sheer surprise, when I looked up from tying the skates into survival mode, both kids were already on the ice and skating their finest moves to show Nana what young stars on ice look like. Since my kids mean the world to me, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them, I grabbed my grit, sucked up any apprehension and determined to go the gamut. And I was glad I did. In spite of the fact that the only other grandmother in my home group broke her wrist out skating with her eleven year old grandson a week earlier.

Bravely I stepped to the edge of the rink.  I barely put the tip of my rented blade to the icy surface when I realized somebody seemed to have re-surfaced this arena more like greased glass than the lumpy rough stuff I remember maneuvering as a kid in Halifax. Sure, I’d brushed up to take Tan to a nearby rink when she was little, and when I could get away from work. But I’d never been any kind of skater recruiters invited to Disney on Ice try-outs. And this trip would be no exception.

I clung to orange side-boards much like a skin clings to a tangerine, and I circled the arena at tortoise speed trying to catch my stride.  Before long I had to admit to myself – this WAS my stride. Then I started laughing. At first, because the family glided past with such finesse, but I laughed even more because I had a blast out there is those rented skates.

Not only did I get to play and have fun with my beloved family, I felt comfortable trying something new with them, and felt relaxed to laugh at my amazingly awkward attempts at moving in any one direction at a time. Because my skating fiasco adventure had me laughing and learning and looking forward to more, I bought my own second hand skates and planned to get out again. That skating debut left me determined to go at it again, until my feet learn to at least shove off in the same direction. Laughing and learning came together for me and made me grateful for fun and for the family God gave me. Oh, and glad for no broken bones too!

Teens love to laugh, and when their laughter melds with learning – fun follows!

Turn sarcasm into laughter and your day is off to a grand slam start!