Father's Daze - Skating away – not me

He won’t be 3 for another three months, but Aiden is already ahead of his grandfather in at least one regard — and no, I’m not talking about how much hair he has on his head.

Aiden has already spent more time on ice skates than his Poppie — a mark he achieved as soon as he put on ice skates and stood up on them, which his Mee-Mee had him do last week.

I am proud to say that I have never spent one minute on ice skates in my entire life. I’ve always said if I was meant to ice skate, I would have been born French-Canadian.

I have tried roller-skating a few times, when the kids were younger and I got corralled to go along on a skating party expedition. My health insurance carrier quickly put a stop to any more of that, however.

My oldest brother did try ice-skating when he was in junior high. He took all the Christmas tip money from his paper route one year and bought himself a pair of ice skates, then went to the nearby pond to try them out.

Within 15 minutes, he was flat on the ice with a spiral break in the bone in one of his legs.

With a cast on his leg, he was unable to deliver papers — which meant the responsibility fell on my younger brother and I.

I was about 8 at the time and Jim was about 6. It was the middle of winter — January and February — and the two of us had to schlep those papers around in the cold and the snow early every morning.

It was probably the only time in our combined academic careers that he and I were actually glad to go to school every day, just to get out of the cold and snow.

Needless to say, that cured me of any latent desire I might have had to go ice-skating at any time in my life .

My wife, however, never had an experience like that, so when Aiden stayed with us a couple of days last week while his mother was recuperating from a bacterial infection, Mee-Mee decided to take him down to the local ice-skating pond to try it out.

Actually, she’d stopped there a day earlier with him and Aiden was disappointed he couldn’t go out on the ice with all the skaters, so Mee-Mee promised they’d come back the next day — and proceeded to drag me along.

She found a pair of double-bladed skates at the ice shack that would fit Aiden and he headed enthusiastically out to the ice. His Poppie followed, equally reluctantly.

Even if they’d had any skates there my size, I would not have put them on, so I got to try walking across the ice as I held on to Aiden. Fortunately, neither one of us hit the ice, although if we had, he’d have had more padding falling on me than vice versa.

Luckily, there were only a few other people on the pond, so we — and they — were in little danger.

Aiden spied a hockey stick lying in the snow alongside the pond, so we stumbled over and pulled it out of the snow. It proved to be a junior-sized stick, almost his size.

There was an older boy out on the ice with a stick and a hockey puck, so he began hitting the puck back and forth with us.

It only took me a very short time to prove that Feldner is a German surname and not French-Canadian, but I did manage to stay on feet and keep Aiden on his somehow.

Mee-Mee, meanwhile, was busy snapping pictures of the two of us stumbling around on the ice. If she’d taken a video of us, she might have had a candidate for one of those funniest videos programs or instant fame on You Tube.

Somehow, Aiden and Poppie both managed to get off the ice without any bumps, bangs, bruises or broken bones.

We headed straight home, where I grabbed the only ice I can be happy with — a handful of cubes in a tall, cold drink.


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