For Christmas I bought my grandson Hunter brand new ice skates with a helmet compete with a face protector—the idea being I would also take him skating. Spencer Smith Park has an outdoor artificially refrigerated rink right on the lake near the new observation centre and when we saw it was operational, Hunter and I rushed over. By that time school had let out and the rink had grown crowded. Still we laced up along with my pregnant daughter Jen (I had to lace up all three of our skates).

Turns out balance on ice is not such a natural thing. But Hunter groped the sides and inched along totally backflipping onto the ice in death defying moves. The helmet saved him. I asked the “skating police” as we called them how to help Hunter learn since we weren’t allowed using pylons or skate aids, whatever they are. They said he should continue edging along the outside, holding on. Within about four skating sessions he’d be soaring wildly across the ice.

Well, Hunter hearing this believes he will be performing triple turns by the fourth time out so he’s nagging to go skating again and again.

Today was our second time out and I skated backwards and forewards to keep him company. He got a glint in his eye when he saw the backwards skate. I told him it was easy, you just wiggle your bum. So that’s what he did. By the end of our skate he was shuffling through the centre of the ice and falling a lot less and of course, doing little bum wiggles backwards.

Skating outside at Spencer Smith, watching the grey waves rolling in and gliding across the ice is just the most lovely peaceful thing even with the teen bucks zipping in and out around us. Two more times till triple twirls.

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