So my wife and I recently took the kids to a roller skating rink. First off, these still exist. Secondly. The one we went to could have been mistaken for a crack den. Or at least what I assume a crack den looks like. I nearly passed it for not realizing it was the place. It was built inside what I assume is a condemned school gymnasium from 1973. You might think I am kidding. I am not. See photo below. My middle daughter brought a friend and I apologized that she would need to get a tetanus shot after coming with us to this place.
Anyway, this got me thinking about how much things change. When I was a kid, going to the roller skating rink was a highlight of school trips. Thinking back on it now though, sure there was the fun going going fast, but the thrill of the place was finding a girl to hold hands with during the “couples skate” time. Also, the lead up to that time, there would be a whisper campaign of friends going to ask other friends if they wanted to be your couple skate partner.
As a child, that thrill of holding hands and the build up of who it was going to be was what made that time special. We were too young for real boyfriends or girlfriends, but playing the part was exciting. I walked out on the rink today and realized the thrill of childhood newness was gone. My wife skated by me and I realized I already had my partner to hold hands with. There was no mystery or thrill in wondering who, but that was okay.
That thrill has been replaced with the maturity of a deep and meaningful relationship. One that has led to my children being born and getting to see them experience things in somewhat the same way I did as a child. There was no couple skate today, but my girls come home from middle school talking about their friends who are “dating”. Alicia and I don’t allow boyfriends until they are 16 years old. Which might sound old fashioned, but we find allowing them to focus on childhood has worked out well so far.
I have often said that my current life is my favorite time of my life. I am 40 years old this year. That being said, I said that at 35 and also at 30. At 25 and at 20. I also said it at 15, and while I might not directly remember, I’m sure I said it at 10 and 5 as well. My point is, while I appreciate my past, I am happy with my life now and am looking forward to the future.
D. Michl Lowe