I only broke a bone once before. I cracked my elbow while crossing the school parking lot to pick up my daughter. Broken bones burn. Well, anyhow, here is that story. Below is an archived essay originally published in the Naples Daily News way back in the Spring of 2010. Yes, it’s my story and I’m still sticking to it.
Julieanna Blackwell, Community Contributor
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sorry guys, but I’ve been out of commission recently because of an unfortunate turn of events. I’m back now. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.
A few months back a good friend called with an invitation. She has a daughter the same age as mine; both are only children, and the best of friends. We try to get them together as much as possible. The invitation was to go roller skating.
I have long suffered from “Over Enthusiasm Prior to Thought” disease, so I immediately said yes. Then I thought about roller skating and silently yelled NO.
Thought number one: my daughter has never had wheels strapped to the bottom of her feet before, nor has she ever asked to have wheels strapped to the bottom of her feet.
Thought number two: when it comes to new experiences, my daughter never does anything unless someone (me) does it with her. In fact, when it comes to new things I generally have to do it first. I tasted the baby cereal first, I slept in the toddler bed first, and I have even jumped into a cold pool first. It was inevitable that I’d have to strap wheels to my feet too.
Thought number three: they don’t call it the slippery-side-of-the-slope because it is a nice use of alliteration, it’s slippery and I can fall!
Understand, there’s a vast difference between 10-year-old bones and 40-something-something old bones; baby bones bounce and Mama bones break. The last time I hurled myself on wheels along a wooden floor was back when my bones had some bounce-ability, my hair was stiff from hairspray, and they still played an organ at the rink.
Since I said yes I couldn’t get out of it. I knew I would’ve to hold my daughter’s hand as she learned how to control the skates. Horrified I pictured her falling and taking me down with her. I also envisioned being down for months because of a broken leg. I hurried to the garage and started hunting for the plastic tub labeled “sport stuff.” My daughter followed, she knew something was up.
I blew the dust off the plastic lid before ripping it open. There was an array of knee pads, balls, Frisbees, and an empty bottle of bubbles. I looked at my child’s curious face and told her we were going roller skating. She blinked a couple of times and then asked if I was going, too. I nodded yes. I could tell she was unsure about the plan. I explained skating was easy as I handed her a pair of princess pink knee pads. I packed the black kid size pads for myself and had everything ready to go.
At the rink, we stood in line for admission, we stood in line to rent skates, she broke a shoe lace, and I stood in line again for another pair of skates. After standing in line for a drink, I bent down on a wad of gum and laced my daughter’s skates. Then I suited up. After double-knotting my skates, I put on the knee pads, elbow pads, and the most important—the wrist guards. Being kid sized, the Velcro straps were just long enough to make it around my joints and hook together, however, the right knee pad kept popping off. I put on my bike helmet, ignoring my curly hair sprouting through the air vents, and tightened the chin strap. I was ready.
After a long painful pause my friend simply said, “Okay-no.” My daughter added, “Really?” They burst into hysterical laughter.
Fine! I took everything off with the exception of the wrist guards. I could handle a sprained ankle but not a broken wrist. And I wasn’t the only one thinking safety first, I saw a 40-something-something Dad sporting a Kermit Green pair.
The music started, my daughter and I hesitated, taking deep breaths, and gripping each other by the hand before pushing off.
Hey! It’s true — when you learn how to ride a bike you always know how to ride a bike, when you fall off a horse you can look that horse in the eye before jumping back in the saddle. It all comes back. I was skating. I went forward, I skated backwards. I was going fast. It reminded me of Friday afternoons when Indian Boundary Day Camp went to the Hub Roller Rink on Harlem Avenue in Chicago. I flirted with the idea of joining in on the Fox Trot until I found out they don’t do that anymore.
I didn’t fall once. My daughter did great, she fell only twice. The first time she was stunned, the second she cried, the third time didn’t count because she rolled over my friend. We had a blast, nothing got broken, except for another shoe lace.
That’s my story.
The next day, I went to pick up my daughter from school and… POP! I fell over a curb in the parking lot and broke my arm.
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