It is winter and I am five years old in this memory. The skating season has arrived. When my family go for the regular weekend shopping, my father starts taking me to the skating rink Orange Range again. Though excited, because it has been many months since I stood on the rink last time and learned how to skate, I even struggle to stand on the ice at first.
While my father skates around the rink, I carefully revise the basics on my own. Holding the railing, I remember how to balance myself on the ice and then how to move. Slowly, my body recalls the feeling of gliding on the ice as well as the satisfaction of it.
Then, one day, something new happens. My mother and brother come along to join us on the rink for the first time. My mother has decided that my little brother is now old enough to try out skating. Covered in a thick jacket, he is seated on the bench looking puzzled. When my mother tries to put on the skating shoes on his feet, my brother refuses. He loosens his feet, making it hard for them to slide into the shoes.
After awhile, the skating shoes somehow manage to settle around my brother’s feet. When I am making a loop along the railing, I spot my father pushing my brother on a metal supporter on the rink near the entrance. To my eyes, it is far from skating, but they seem to be having a lot of fun. When I finish a loop and do another one, I once again encounter them moving on the ice making a lot of noises.
A few hours pass, and my mother calls out it is time for us to go home. After making the final loop around the rink, I come back to the seating area and start removing my skating shoes right away.
My brother and father also come back to the bench, where my brother discovers something new and extraordinary – he can stand on the floor in his skating shoes!
“Look!” He calls out, his eyes wide open with delight. “Look!”
“Wow!” My mother responds to his exclamation. “How amazing, Sweetie! You’re standing on your own!” She then tells him to sit down so that she can remove his shoes. But he is not listening. Now that he is so into his skating shoes, he does not want to remove them.
“Look!” He repeats, standing straight and proud. “Look!”
It takes my mother a lot of agreeing and attention seeking before my brother finally sits down and she can take the shoes off his feet. But even after getting back to his normal shoes, my brother’s excitement lives on. On the way back home, he keeps reminding us how he stood on the floor in his skating shoes.
It strikes me funny that my little brother is more excited about standing on the floor than being on the skating rink. That’s not skating, that’s walking, I think. But in front of his over-the-moon excitement, such observation is irrelevant. So, I keep that thought to myself.