The excitement in my house has been building for months. An upcoming event has been talked about every day, looked forward to, anticipated so much.
You guessed it! Our city's park district has built an outdoor ice rink.
The announcement of the pending construction was made this fall. The rink will be twofold: a basketball court in the summer, a lit ice skating rink in the winter. In this house, ice is held in very high regard.
My husband is a huge ice hockey fan. When I say huge, I mean it. He really loves his hockey. He has over a dozen hockey jerseys. (He took this picture several months ago, and he's added a few more jerseys since). He even sells them. He knows a guy, who knows a guy, who has connections with the Chinese manufacturer.... anyway, he can get his hands on $300 jerseys for about 75% off the sticker price. Lucky for me and our savings account!
Now, he even has rituals with his jerseys. They are only worn on very special occasions, and he makes sure not a drop of dirt, food, or a child's peanut-butter coated hand comes within 6 inches of them. They are hung in a special section of the closet. I wonder if they are organized by color or team, perhaps? Nah, I hope not.
So now you have an idea of how highly valued an ice rink is in our house. My husband would drive by the construction site each day after dropping our 3 year-old off at preschool. So we were surprised one day recently to see this sign:
The boys were screaming with glee, my husband's face lit up like a Christmas tree, and they all began directing me. To the house! Snowpants! Hats! Gloves! Some food and water! And ice skates!
Late we shall not be!
As the opening hadn't yet been publicized, there was only one other family on the rink (which, my husband has told me, is regulation size).
Luckily, it wasn't too cold, with temperatures hovering around freezing. My oldest sons quickly ran onto the gleaming ice sheet in their boots.
Both quickly fell. Ice is not something you typically run on. It must be respected. They'll learn.
My husband took no mind to the kids needing their skates on, and quickly laced his up and took a run. By the time I had the ice skates on the kids and squeezed into mine, he had made several runs around the rink with a grin from ear to ear.
Finally, it was my turn. I inched my way onto the ice slowly. It had been a few years since I'd been ice skating and I wasn't ready to fall as everyone else had done! Luckily, ice skating is just like riding a bike: you never really forget how to do it.
We had a good time skating, teaching the boys how to stand on their skates, and pushing our youngest son in the stroller.
It was an enjoyable half hour and we would have stayed longer, but the baby decided that he just wasn't up for any more fun in the great snowy outdoors.
Maybe it'll grow on him. In this house, I just don't think he has much choice.