The last thing I wanted to do was find the bin of Rollerblades buried deep in the garage. If I found it, I’d be on the hook to fasten their hand, elbow and knee pads. That’s six uncooperative strips of Velcro times three wiggly bodies. Just thinking about it wore me out.
I didn’t hide the bin well enough because I hadn’t been pretending to look for it for more than a few minutes when Anna Lynn shoved a pair of pink Rollerblades in my face and begged me to untie the laces.
There goes my quiet evening.
I’d planned to throw a movie in the Xbox and retreat to my computer. I hadn’t planned on an evening of Rollerblading in January. The kids act like we still live in St. George.
As I helped Anna with her knee pads, the others decided I was moving too slowly and took matters into their own hands. Luca took to the street with her elbow pads barely covering her kneecaps while Lincoln had his helmet on backwards. After a few minutes we straightened out the equipment, and the kids began circling our cul-de-sac.
It took me weeks before I began to get the hang of Rollerblading. Yet the kids speed around the streets so confidently one would think they were born with wheels attached to their feet.
“You might want to grab a lawn chair like mom does because we could be a while”, Lincoln told me.
I pulled an old chair from the garage, placed it just off the road, and watched Kai chase the Rollerbladers in his Kettcar. We had less than 15 minutes of sun left on an already cool evening. I figured they’d last no more than 10. How fun can Rollerblading around in circles be?
I lost count of how many times someone called out, “Dad! Look!”
And look I did, but it was getting dark and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be looking at. But I did see four giggly, smiley children. When one would fall, another was there to provide help. I saw how much they enjoy each other’s company. I saw Lincoln lean over just enough that his little brother could catch him and wrap his arms around his big brother’s neck.
Maybe it was January and the weather wasn’t ideal. Maybe it took more time to get the kids outfitted for the impromptu outing than the outing itself. I’m certain my neighbor who parks his car in front of our home each day wouldn’t have enjoyed how my kids used his car the same way a hockey player uses the boards behind the goalie.
But tonight I looked, and I liked what I saw.