When it comes to documenting your child’s first milestones, what do you think of? The first time she smiled, rolled over, crawled, or walked? His first day of school? How about his first roller-skating party?
I think we did a pretty good job documenting most of Piano Man’s first moments, such as his first smile, first steps, first words, and first foods. But when it came to Linus, I admit that many times I’d forget to document those special moments. Most of the time, those firsts are stored somewhere in my very poor memory bank, not on print or digital media.
A few weeks ago, the boys experienced another first, roller-skating. Piano Man’s school planned an annual skating party, which included all family members. We brought along Linus thinking he would have to sit this one out, being a toddler and all. Who would expect a skating park to have skates in his size? Well, wouldn’t you know that several other families with toddlers his age strapped on a pair of skates and strolled along with an adult. Thus, with 16 wheels and eight toe-stops, we braced ourselves for some comedic action on a slick concrete floor.
Prof took Piano Man’s hands, and I took Linus’ during our first round of roller-skating. I made my first mistake of the night by putting on Linus’ skates before mine. (Honestly, how could he contain his excitement? His big brother was going to go out there on skates, and Linus wasn’t going to miss his opportunity either.)
He tried to jump down from the carpeted bench like he was still wearing his regular shoes only to find that he was like a fish out of water. But unlike a fish that flails around trying to jump back in its natural element, Linus instinctively knew to climb back up onto the bench for safety. I stopped in mid-motion as I tied my skates, watching his movements unfold before my eyes. There was no time to flip open my camera and hit the record button. That moment was permanently etched somewhere in my memory bank.
After I securely tied on my skates, I stretched out my hand. Linus gripped them with all his might. Surely, he had exerted at least 80% of his energy just with that first grip. As soon as we made our first move onto the cement, I gingerly guided him through the rink.
As I watched an aerial view of an inebriated Charlie Chaplin routine unfold before my eyes, I wished that I could be in two places at once – holding his precious small hands skating alongside of him, while skating in front of him to capture this rib-tickling moment. With my camera strapped over my shoulder, his fingers tightly wound against mine, I thought, “I’d better leave this one for the memory banks too.”
Prof, like a true hero in Linus’ eyes skated by, held out his hand, and Linus suddenly unwrapped his fingers from mine to meet his father’s. I look at their relationship with trust and love, one that bares a small resemblance of a loving God who holds our hands through all of our firsts in life.
After a few blurry photos in a darkly lit roller rink, I peered through a sea of skaters to find Piano Man leaned over the side of a rail, like a grandfatherly fellow. When I gestured to help him, he gladly clasped his hands around mine, and we enjoyed a mother-son moment for the rest of the late afternoon.
Weeks have passed since our first skating party, and I still laugh at those very personal family moments, hoping that my memory will never fail me as the years pass by. Do you remember your first time roller-skating? Have you taken a loved one skating? What were some of your favorite moments?
From my hometown to yours,