Intergenerational skating


We spent Christmas week in Toronto with second Son and his family, and Daughter joined us a few days too. We had a wonderful time.


I made these paperclip-and-felt skates at Pioneer Girls more than 55 years ago; they hang on the Christmas tree every year.

One afternoon, the agenda included skating. How many years had it been since last I skated? Twenty? I practically grew up on skates but this gradually faded from my adult life, perhaps because my husband comes from Paraguay and had not learned to skate.

The rented skates weren’t perfectly straight and I was wobbly at first but slowly I gained my skating legs, and there we were, representatives of three generations rounding an outdoor Toronto rink, snow falling lightly, the air perfectly crisp but not too cold. Every circle I took enlarged the happiness in me, this lovely activity in the lovely winter air like a breeze tugging me back to hours skating on a rink just like this one in a small Alberta town, round and round and round, perfecting my strokes and crossovers and stops and everything else.

“Hey, look, Mom can skate backwards!” Son called, as if he could hardly believe it. Then I watched him circle and power about and honestly, I was amazed at his prowess. And I found myself repeatedly praising the eight-year-old because of how much she’s advanced in her skating skills.

And so it goes, I thought, when families get together: we’re mutually astonished. That the old can still manage this or that, that adult children who just yesterday were learning (and needed help, right?) are so incredibly competent, that the little ones are bounding up behind us. It’s as if we really can’t believe any of it.


11 thoughts on “Intergenerational skating

  1. I always wished I could skate, could have learned it as I was 9 when we came to Canada from Paraguay. I tried and gave it up, the same is true of bike riding. We had one bike for 8 kids and when my time of learning to balance was up I relinquished it to the next in line and never went back to it again. I have often regretted it and still feel like a loser when I think about it! I do know how to drive car, which I learned as an adult since we never had one in our family. We made sure our kids learned all those skills and I’m still amazed at what they can all do. Grandson #1, now 18, is kind of like me that way. Still isn’t eager to get his drivers license but does know how to skate and ride bike!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first impulse was to say that you’re never too old to learn to skate or ride a bike… but then again, bones at our age need a little more caution than they used to, right?! Happy new year and thanks in advance for your blog stories coming up.


  3. Yes, round and round and round … perfecting this and that. Isn’t that life? And isn’t it true that what you trained much and well in young years quite easily revives in later stages?
    And isn’t it wonderful to see our following generations grabbing hold of those same skills on those same circles … and doing so well!!?
    Ah, your blog is exciting Dora!


    • Thanks so much for this comment, Annegret, because you’ve opened to another facet of this, and it’s a wonderful image, that round and round. I’m grateful to contemplate it today.


  4. I taught my Syrian refugee boys how to skate in 2018, inviting them to my community lake — they were so stunned that this 69 year old auntie could skate! What they didn’t know is that several nights before we went together, I went alone to the lake, using a plastic chair in front of me to recapture my skating legs of 30 years ago! Yes, a few rounds with the chair and I knew the joyful skill was still in me! Now the boys have gone far far beyond me!! Fun!


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