Sunday, January 6, 2013

The More Things Stay The Same

Yesterday morning as we were lounging around the house lazily, my wife had an epiphany.

Let's go ice skating!

The kids excitedly scurried around the mud room gathering gloves and scarves.  While confirming the open hours at the rink, she also reminded me that somewhere hiding in the house was an old pair of my father's skates that my mother gave to me a decade ago.  My father, now dead for over thirty years, loved ice skating.  Admittedly, I had once enjoyed the sport as a child.  But my skating days ended prematurely at the age of eight following his death. 

My own children have brought me back to the ice.  From time to time, we skate at a birthday party or other such event.  Until now, however, I had forgotten about the pair of figure skates that lay dormant somewhere in the house.  I spent the next thirty minutes searching high and low.  It was only after exhausting every last storage spot, that I peered into the crawl space in the basement and found them sticking out of an old frayed box.  I dragged them out and tried them on.  Of course, they fit perfectly.

Thirty minutes later, I gently glided onto the ice.  My shoulders tipped backwards and I almost fell.  The part of the body that physical therapists call the "core" is particularly underdeveloped in me.  Muscle memory finally kicked in, and I was swooshing at a better pace.

The irony wasn't lost on me.  The fact that my father's size ten skates fit me perfectly.  Nor that I entered the same profession that so defined him.  I live in a red brick house just like the one of my childhood.  In the same city, I skate on the same ice that he probably skated on some thirty odd years ago.

After all those youthful struggles to define my unique contribution to this world, one fact remains starkly clear.

I am my father's son.

My children skittered past with smiles on their faces and the wind blowing through their hair.

And maybe, that's exactly how it was meant to be.

No comments: