I don't think it's uncommon for a parent to hope to share their fondest memories of their own childhood with their son or daughter. Especially if the child is the same gender. Since I have a son, I don't really long to play Barbies with him. But my husband had a good day Saturday when he got to play ice hockey on a pond with his son for the very first time.
Here's Michael lacing up Magoo's skates.
Now I should say this - it was FREAKIN' cold. The sun was out - it was lovely. But there was a bitter breeze and one needed to keep moving in order not to freeze their bippie off. And my poor husband's hands got so cold lacing up Magoo's skates that we had to trade off. (Point one for a rink.)
I'd assumed that all the neighborhood kids would have been out to shovel off the pond at some point. I've heard my husband's ice hockey stories many-a-time, and I thought bright and early Saturday mornings twenty or so boys would have been out here skating and clearing the ice. No, no. We had to do it. So to the children of the neighborhood I say in a snotty voice, "You're Welcome!"
(Point two for a rink.)
Magoo doesn't really skate enough to be good at it. It's forbidden to skate on the ponds in town and the rink up here costs money - so he had a difficult time. Well, in reality, he did really well. But this is a kid who's used to being physically coordinated so he felt as though he was doing poorly. He took comfort in "skating" on the un-shoveled ice. That inch or two of show gave him more stability.
I hadn't been on ice for awhile myself. It took me a few minutes to get my ice legs back and I'm not that good to begin with - but I can go backwards. And I can turn. So I had some fun too.
Eventually Magoo took his skates off and played ice hockey with his Dad in his boots. We probably should have started this way - let him get used to the ice a bit before going whole hog on skates. But he had a great time shooting the puck while I dazzled only myself with my awesome, graceful turns.
The benefits of the rink are these: one can lace their skates up in a warm room, one can retire to warm room when they are too cold, one does not have to shovel the ice.
The benefits of the pond are this: it's free, one doesn't have to worry about a bunch of other people who can't skate, and it's prettier.
My toes were numb by the end, but we all had a great time.