My grandpa (my dad's dad) was a union electrician. Part of his responsibility each year (or maybe twice a year) was to drive up to Portland to "sign a book" - I guess to testify that he was still eager for employment and available. The book signing was close to Lloyd Center - which just happened to have an ice skating rink. It was because of this that Michele and I learned to skate.
Grandpa and Grandma made it a tradition when they traveled north to frequently take us with them. On one day in particular, I remember them picking us up early from elementary school, with boxes of our favorite bar-b-q KFC chicken, and little Mason jars of chocolate milk that Grandma had made for us, all ready to consume in the backseat. Sweet, sweet memories.
So, this year, Michele declared that it was time to introduce our kiddos to the ice. They've never been (even though we have an ice rink here in town now). In "tradition" fashion, we decided to play hooky from school - as it was convenient that Michele's kids were already down with us due to the Civil War game. My kids didn't even know it was happening until they decoded their first Countdown Calendar activity on Tuesday.
Even Travis, Stephanie (though she's not pictured, how sad!!!), and John took the days off to join us. It was so delightful! As I got onto the ice, I recognized that almost all was perfect except for the lack of Christmas music. About 10 minutes later, a familiar carol began playing over the speakers......ahhhhh! So ideal.
Mikayla and Brayden both took to it pretty easy. I think Mikayla's advantage came from wearing rollerblades so often around the house last spring in personifying "Blade Girl". They've both been to Skateworld frequently enough too. I was surprised how fast it came back for me. I even tested my skills at "Wonder Woman" style of spins in the center. I'm sure I looked like a ridiculous idiot (well, I know I did as John snapped pictures of it....), but the fact that I did it anyway demonstrates just how much fun I was having.
Michael wasn't able to take the day off from work, so Travis did a fine job of filling in for him with Michele's girls. Nati, in particular, really appreciated someone next to her through most of the experience. She also enjoyed dragging her helper down in her spills too. I stayed away from Nati...... Ellie took to the walls just like we did as kids. By the end, she'd kind of caught on and was so proud of herself. Brayden and Traig did their own things - which for Brayden involved a lot of direct contact with the ice. But, they both had a blast. After about an hour and a half, Traig still wasn't ready to leave.
So, we just might have to make this our own tradition - at appears our kids share the same love for it just as we did......