Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You're New Here, Aren't You?

On Sunday, both kids had hockey practice, and in between their practice time, there was rec skating at the arena. I wanted to work on my crossovers and show off my mad backward-skating skills, and the three of us cajoled Matt into coming along too.

Despite growing up in east Duluth, Matt never played hockey and rarely skated. He puts on skates and good-naturedly comes with us on the ice, but not very often.

John had just finished practice and most of his friends were sticking around to skate, sweaty in their pads and chewing on their mouthguards. The rest of us started skating. Maia found a friend to race with and John was playing pom-pom with his teammates.

Matt got on the ice and scooted around gamely. I skated past a knot of John's friends and heard them saying to John: "Hey, uh, your dad can't skate." They were a little embarrassed to be pointing this out, as if John might not know.

"I know," John said. "He didn't play hockey growing up."

The kids were flabbergasted. This was unheard of. They all swarmed around Matt to tease him. "You don't skate very well," they announced with nine-year-old honesty in their squeaky nine-year-old voices.

He took them all down. Hey, they were wearing pads.


  1. I can skate well enough to almost never fall down, but that's about it. Years ago, Jon and I went skating and took hockey sticks and pucks just for fun. A little kid took my puck and wouldn't give it back. I kept saying, "Hey, give back my puck!" He kept avoiding me, as if I was on the other team.
    I was at the net, and the kids kept scoring on me. They didn't seem amused that it was so easy. One of them said, "You're not a very good goalie."
    When we left, Jon explained that the kids knew that they shouldn't be able to score on me. Huh? I wondered.
    We were in Bemidji. They were just kids at the rink. No parents or anything. Quaint, really.

  2. I bet Matt had been fantasizing for years about knocking down hockey-players on the ice! =)

  3. critina1:37 AM

    I have never skated on the ice,but I think it is very fun to do it.Maybe a newer is full of curiosity about the playing.I have no expection.