Mourning The Closure Of The Ice Rink

The boy had a golf tournament today, which required him to be at the high school at 5:30 to catch the bus.

That would be the 5:30 that comes in the morning, and not the evening kind of 5:30.  So, we set our alarms for 5:00.  On any given school morning, the boy needs an hour to make it out of bed, through the shower, through the whole BRUSHING OF THE TEETH, DRESSING OF THE BODY, AND COLLECTING OF THE NIGHT BEFORE’S HOMEWORK.  I believe the phrase you’re looking for is BABY SLOTH.  Last night, as he scrolled through all the digital times on his alarm clock that started with the number FOUR, he decided that he’d set the alarm for 5:00 and JUST HURRY.

Never mind that I’ve talked to him about JUST HURRYING for the past ten years of school… Monday through Friday… please help me with patience, Jesus.  He had no desire to be yanked out of his sleep at four-o’clock-anything, and he was having a difficult time coming to grips with 5 AM, as well.

But… the five was a bigger number, which translated into minutes more to sleep, so that’s what he set the alarm for.


And then he was totally ready by 5:15, which leaves me to believe that he’s been spoon-feeding me lies like they were sugar-coated cereal bites all these years, as he always insists he’s not physically capable of moving quickly in the morning.

I was pretty much tempted to just close my bedroom door at 5:00 today and hope for the best… that he made it out of our home with all of his golf clubs and extra cash for lunch and sunscreen and his sunglasses and his golf shoes, with his team polo shirt on and a jacket tucked into his bag, just in case… but then I remembered that this is not how stellar mothers handle things.

Stellar mothers get out of bed and have a plate of piping-hot French toast waiting for their bleary-eyed golfers at 5:15.

Stellar mothers bake cinnamon rolls and send the entire pan to the team on the bus.

In the end, I wasn’t a stellar mother, as I told him that he and the cute neighbor boy (who was also going on this golf trip) could stop at the gas station on their way to the school for a nutritious breakfast of egg-filled burritos that have been sitting beneath a warming light since yesterday morning.  I did make sure he had his sunglasses and money for lunch, though, so I wasn’t a complete parenting failure.

The boy and the cute neighbor boy were gone by 5:15, and there I was…

… wide awake and thinking that Coffee Time was going to happen a bit earlier than normal this morning.


… Thing 2 slept in until 7:00 this morning.

Because THAT, people, IS HOW MY LIFE ROLLS.

And the way Thing 2’s poor life rolls is this way:  Our local ice rink has closed for the season.  We knew it was coming, but we still suffered through some tears when I told our preschooler that the compressors had been disconnected, the ice was no longer freezing, and skating and hockey were over until next October.

Thing 2’s hockey-playing, high-school cousins taught him to ice skate over the Thanksgiving weekend.  They were gung-ho and full of optimism, with young, teenage boy bodies, which don’t suffer from sore backs the following day, after they’ve bent over and picked up a forty-six-pound child off the ice one million and twenty-four additional times.  When they called to ask if they could take Thing 2 skating, I shouted YES into the phone like a lightning bolt, before they could change their minds.

My over-forty back thanked my sudden streak of good fortune.  Let the YOUNG KIDS teach the YOUNGER KIDS how to skate.  My inner old lady clapped like a lunatic at how blessed I was to have these nephews in my life.

And then Thing 2 took to the ice like a penguin.  Cousin W had him up and skating within thirty short minutes.  I’ve told Cousin W a hundred times since Thanksgiving that he should moonlight as a skating instructor, because that boy has some mad skills, when it comes to teaching little kids.  Two hours after his first lesson with Cousin W, Thing 2 was whipping around the rink without falling.

And then he blossomed into a REAL ice skater.

Because his instructors were hockey players, Thing 2 mimicked them.  He imitated all their moves, following his teenage cousins around the rink.  He began skating like a Colorado Avalanche forward, because THAT was the example he was given.

And then the cousins gave him a left-handed hockey stick, and they taught him to swing it.

The rest is history.

Thing 2’s heart fell head over its heels in love with hockey.  He was too young to play hockey when the sign-ups started this fall.  Kids had to be five by September, and Thing 2 was only four.  Plus, we didn’t even know last fall, when kids were signing up, that our kid was going to take a powerfully-big liking to hockey.  I signed him up for preschool LEARN TO SKATE lessons in October.  Thing 2 went to one lesson, before Cousin W got his clutches on him.  By his second official skating lesson with a licensed and sanctioned skating instructor, Thing 2 was ready to teach the class.  After a weekend on the ice with W, Thing 2 was already more than proficient at everything his second (and third and fourth and seventh) skating lesson was set to cover.

So, without a little hockey team to play on, we started taking Thing 2 to Stick and Puck.

Stick and Puck is a time for kids to take their hockey sticks out onto the ice, with three hundred hockey pucks, and practice their shooting skills for an hour.  Thing 2 went to a few Stick and Puck sessions with Cousin M.  Cousin M taught him how to keep up with a puck, while he was skating, and then he introduced him to the slap shot.

And then Thing 2 started BEGGING to go to Stick and Puck every day.

He started bawling on the days that Stick and Puck wasn’t typed in on the rink’s daily schedule.

Our kid became a rink rat.  He was at the ice rink almost daily, all winter long.

So yes.  We knew that the rink would be closing for the season, as Small Town doesn’t run a summer hockey league.  Our rink is seasonal.

On the last Stick and Puck session, I grabbed my camera and tried to get some shots of our kid doing his thing.  What I ended up capturing were a fantastic collection of grainy, over-exposed, under-exposed and blurry snapshots.  You’re welcome for that.

This small boy of ours has begged Hubs and me, at least four thousand times, to please make sure he gets signed up for five-year-old hockey in September.

In the meantime, he intends to perfect his slapshot on the golf course.  Thing 2 already caused the boy to suffer from heart failure and a massive drop in blood pressure last week, when he approached a putt like he was about to slap a puck straight into a hockey net…

… and took a nice divot out of the green.


Y’all have a blessed weekend.


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