We are lucky enough to have an ice-rink in the park beside us, and an email was sent around last week by the Silverwood Community Association looking for someone to help out with setting it up for the winter. They needed the services of someone with a snow-blower, so a volunteer was found and the rink was cleared and the ice poured. Benjamin, Christopher and Nicholas decked themselves out on Thursday afternoon and headed over to give it a go. Nicholas appeared back tearfully a while later, unable to put his skates on/stand on the ice/cope with the cold etc. We mopped him up and promised him a family trip at the weekend. Benjamin and Christopher came in full of the joys of ice hockey in general, and were adamant that they were brilliant at skating. I withheld judgement.
On Saturday we decided to go skating in the afternoon, and so the long and laborious process of getting ready began. They climbed into their jackets, hats, gloves, snow pants and snow boots, and shouldered their hockey sticks, helmets, skates and the puck. We trudged over the park through the snow, and arrived to find that Christopher and Benjamin were already on the ice, playing hockey with three older children. They had been exaggerating somewhat on the “brilliant” description, but I was really surprised at how good they were, and how confident. They charged up and down the rink after the puck, and were well-padded every time they fell. Isabel was tottering gently from side to side, and Rebecca and Nicholas were dying to get going. We laced them up and then watched Nicholas fall repeatedly on his arse once he entered the rink. Every time he tried to stand up he fell over again, always in a different position and tangle of limbs. He eventually got to the fence and hung on for dear life. After some tentative forays onto the ice, and some more inelegant tumbling around, he started to get the hang of it, and developed his own way of getting from one side to the other. It was more of a clopping run that a gliding skate, but it did the job. Benjamin and Christopher were wheeling around him with their sticks and Isabel was starting to get the feel of the skates.
Rebecca, in the meantime, had spurned all offers of parental help, and was tottering independently around the rink, shrieking “I’m SKATING!” gleefully. She toppled a few times, but struggled back up and headed off again. The sun was blazing down and the glare was ferocious. Michael was wearing his jacket with the fur-lined hood, a baseball cap and sunglasses, and looked so Canadian. The boys are mad to play ice-hockey now, so we’ll need to find out about joining a team. I don’t know where they’re going to fit it in. They play soccer on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and swim on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. Ice-hockey might be a bridge too far.
Anyway, here’s the video of the future of Canadian hockey: