I live in a place with lots of waterways and canals. Last week was all about anticipation. When would the ice in our neighbourhood be strong enough? Friday afternoon the pond closest to our home was ready for the kids to practice. The Man took Daughter on her brand new skates to the pond and while holding an old garden chair she had the privilege to learn how to stand on skates. Sadly I couldn’t witness it as I had to attend a meeting.

However, Saturday morning I was free at last. Daughter and I agreed to go outside first thing in the morning. Just after nine o’clock we headed towards the pond, again with the chair in hand. We were the first ones on the ice and the only ones for a surprisingly long time. I strapped on my skates for the first time in many, many years and helped Daughter skate. Within ten meters the chair was redundant and for two hours we skated around the pond, later accompanied by her best friend.

Sunday morning we decided to skate on the big pond adjoining Daughter’s school. Daughter and I skated one big round together, but the long skating session the day before clearly took its toll on her legs. The Man took care of Daughter while I finally got the chance to make my own rounds. I deeply enjoyed the feeling. This is the type of winter I have fond memories of growing up. I haven’t used my skates in a long, long time, but it’s like cycling. Once learned never forgotten.

Later in the morning I tried to the big canals and river at the north end of town, but sadly the ice was really bad. Lots of cracks and my skates weren’t sharp enough to cut through the rough patches. Twice I fell and decided to return home.

This weekend was a true gift. As a mother I felt so, so proud to witness Daughter learn how to skate and enjoy it thoroughly. It will most likely take many years before the canals and ponds freeze again, but at least we created memories for life. This weekend I rediscovered how much I like the movement of skating. I therefore made a promise to myself. Next winter I will make more use of the nearest skating hall. I may never learn how to ski properly, but I do know how to skate.