We didn’t do a traditional brunch on Mother’s Day this year. Meka is on Weight Watchers; the idea of eating a lot of food to celebrate didn’t seem like such a good idea. On top of that, our place for brunch in Belvidere closed down this spring (soon to be replaced by a Walgreen’s). Without an option for brunch, Daniel and I were stumped as to what would be a good way to honor motherhood. Meka came up with her own suggestion: go to a roller rink.
I didn’t realize roller rinks still existed. It turned out Rockford has not one, but two roller rinks. We decided to go to Skateland USA a few weeks after Mother’s Day (they were closed on the actual day). The rink is on the south side of town near the airport. I hadn’t been skating since I was twelve years old, but it all came back to me when we walked in. Everything was the same: the big wooden floor, the disco lights, the gonky skates with the big neon wheels. They were even playing the same music!
I got my skates and sat on the floor to put them on and then couldn’t figure out how to stand up. My skates wanted to pitch forward when I’d put weight on one leg or the other. I didn’t recall skates being so… frictionless. I finally remembered the little bumpers on the toes were the brakes. So, I got to my feet and managed to stumble my way through the snack bar area without breaking my neck. There were a bunch of twelve year old girls standing around. At least this time I didn’t have to concern myself with trying to impress them! I practiced going back and forth on the indoor / outdoor carpeting that lined the area around the actual skating floor. Around that time Daniel decided he needed to go to the bathroom. No problem… except the bathroom floor was smooth tile. While we didn’t fall down, we had a problem staying in place. Every action apparently has an equal and opposite reaction. We ended up using the handicapped stall; keeping one hand on the rail and the other hand… you get the idea.
Actually, this gave me confidence to try the actual rink. I got onto the wooden floor and skated a few laps without falling. The music was blaring Wang Chung and the lights were flashing in every color of the spectrum. I smiled and closed my eyes to give myself a feeling of speed, drink in the experience of skating once again… and to shut out the images of little kids blowing past me on both sides.