The Ice Puzzle
We're moving into the time of year I find most challenging when you've got a child. Shorter days often mean less time outside, which at our house can lead to a bad case of indoor shpilkes. As I pled with my daughter for the umpteenth time to stop couch hopping, I found myself praying for an alternative to her traditional playground time--one that would entice her to stay outside despite a gray sky and a chill in the air.
My husband answered the prayer, at least for the afternoon, announcing he'd gotten tickets for us to go ice skating at the new "Polar Rink" that had been set up overnight outside of New York's American Museum of Natural History. My husband mentioned it was a high tech rink that didn't even need a Zamboni! I should have been suspicious about that concept, but with technology these days, it was a fleeting thought.
We told our four-year-old about the skating trip and dredged up hats, gloves, scarves and jackets we hadn't worn since last season. "Announcement! Announcement!" my daughter yelled. Then with a quiet follow-up, she announced that her tummy hurt because she didn't know how to ice skate. My husband and I recounted tales of our own "ice-capades" and told her we'd be proud of her just for trying to learn. Her Uncle Jared and her Uncle Zack would coming along for additional moral support and hand holding. Still the butterflies in her stomach remained. But then my husband told her that he'd invited one of her best friends, Olivia, and her family to come along. Olivia had never been ice skating either. That was the inspiration needed.
As we made our way to the rink, I couldn't help but worry a bit. Would this outing end up being a disaster? Would our daughter allow us to put skates on her? Would she complain bitterly of the cold? Would she venture out onto the ice, or refuse and remain on the sidelines? Would this be the first and last time she'd ever go ice skating with us?Continued on the next page