The skating rink hosted a private event for our neighborhood elementary school on Saturday night, so of course we took our fourth grade Princess, for her very first roller rink experience.
She's donned wheels before, rolling around in ours and the neighbor's driveways around the court... okay, so she mostly tiptoes in the grass between the driveways going around the court. She definitely put the "no" in "novice". And then we would put the "ice" on her knee. Every spill would turn her off to the idea for months.
But something magic happens when you walk through the doors of roller skating rink. It was the birth of a whole new world for her, and the revisiting of an old world to me. The smooth wooden floor, the small upholstered toadstool like benches, the smell of shoe leather and pizza. You don't even have to move... just standing in front of the open rink, with the deep bass beats of the current radio hits, the flashing strobes, and sparkling lights of the disco ball... you're instantly having a good time, even if it takes you a little while to realize it.
Although much of her time on the floor was spent clinging to the wall surrounding the rink, she did occasionally venture a foot or two in. Once in a while, she'd opt out, and visit with us on the bench, but she was right back on the floor as soon as the fog machine came on. At one point, as she skated off to hook up with the train of sixteen or so other youngins, scooting along the wall. As they train chugged by she called out "This is the best Saturday night ever!"
In her nearly twelve laps around the track, she thumped her wheels to the ChaCha Slide, flapped her elbow-wings to the Chicken Dance. She even boogied down to her favorite Michael Jackson tune, or maybe she was just flailing her arms around for balance. It was kinda hard to tell.
By the end of the evening, the expression of joy on her face shaved about twenty years off my soul, and I'll tell ya, I haven't wanted to be eleven years old so badly, since I was ten and half!