Since the Olmypics started, our house has looked a lot like an Exxon-Mobile commercial. Katie is always skating, or skiing around the house. Yesterday when I caught her standing on two of her board books skating across the carpet I decided it was time to put her on ice skates. We rushed through dinner and headed off to the local ice rink. At 6:30 PM on a Thursday night the parking lot was full. It was, of course, the reason we were there and a rink owners quadrennial dream come true: little olympians.

I haven’t been on skates since high school, but they say it’s like riding a bike so I headed out on the crowded ice for a practice round. It felt more like riding a unicycle, arms flailing, legs shaking I could barely get around without holding on to the wall. With my arms finally under control I brought Katie out, before I could even get in the rink she is off trying to walk across the ice. Walking in figure skates is about the worst thing you can do, the toe digs in and before you know it you’re wipping ice off your butt.


With my hands permanently affixed to her armpits, we make a round and a half in relative enjoyment. At this point she just lifts her legs up off the ice and won’t put them down. So I sit her up on the wall and ask what the problem is.

I’m all done
What’s wrong sweetie? I thought you were having fun.
I’m all done, I not good.

If there is one trait I didn’t want Katie to inherit from her mother it is this one. Where as I pursue things only until I am good at them, Jen only pursues things that she can do well from the start. Golf is the perfect example. Early in our relationship, I was into golfing. I was at the driving range all time and playing whenever I could, trying to get better. Jen thought it would be fun to play with me so she gave it a try, but she really wasn’t good at it. — If you have never played, golf is like bonzai, most people can work a lifetime and never master it. — After a few rounds and a few more lost balls she was done. In a lot of people this “fear of failure” makes them pretty boring, fortunately for Jen she is pretty good at almost everything she tries. Honestly, it’s pretty disgusting.

After talking her off the wall Katie took a snack break and I went to work on my skating skills. I can attest, skating is absolutely not like riding a bike. Sure, I quickly found my balance and remembered how to get myself around the rink pretty quickly, but I never did remember how to stop with out transferring all my kinetic energy into the wall.

Katie came out for another round and as we neared the end she said Daddy let me go. I did and she fell. We had talked about what to do when you fall, — Pick yourself up, wipe the ice off your bottom and keep skating — but she was done. So I did what any dad would do. I picked her up, wiped the ice off and carried her off the ice.

There is hope though, by the time we got home Katie was excitedly talking about how much fun she had ice skating. Everyday she has asked when we can go skating again. Once the weekend is over we will try again, and with any luck we’ll keep it up past the rush of all the other little olympians.


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