“. . . in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker . . .”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Monday, September 29, 1997
Let’s go skate
After another mind-numbing day at work I took the kids down to the parking lot by the school. Candy took off to run some errands with her friend that’s staying with us.
Lee wore his in-line skates, elbow and knee pads, and his helmet. Nicholas rode his new bicycle, sans training wheels, and his helmet, of course.
Lee had a lot of trouble with his skates. He doesn’t actually skate as much as run on the wheels; his little bow legs splayed out, blades akimbo. I don’t think the eight little yellow polyurethane disks turn at all. They are cheap lil’ kid’s skates and they don’t fit very well. Part of the plastic shell kept digging into his ankles. I worked with it as best as I could, tucking and adjusting.
Meanwhile Nick was looping around the parking lot with no trouble. He only fell once, when he couldn’t avoid a little pink bike one of the cheerleaders (I guess drill team is the proper term, a bunch of ’em practice on the lot every day; they were all down at the other end). I worked with him for a minute on his braking. He had been stopping by sticking his feet out. I helped him learn the joys of backpedaling into the coaster brake, leaving a stripe of black rubber on the tarmac.
And that was it, the high point of my day. Hours of grinding uselessness at work. Dinner, baths, writing practice (I helped Lee write out “don’t open until Sunday” – I don’t know why he wanted to write that, he said “sure are a lot of O’s in here”), then bedtime at home.
A father taking his kids out for a skate, a bike ride; it’s a cliché, a television commercial; life insurance, some new vitamin maybe. Except in the commercial the youngest kid isn’t whining about needing to go to the bathroom every two minutes. The skates always fit. The kids don’t fall. The father on the TV isn’t so worn out from work that every minute is a struggle to maintain contact with reality. They don’t show how your arms ache after carrying a heavy bicycle, a pair of skates, two helmets, a set of pads, all in your arms up the hill back to the house.
And now, a piece of flash fiction for today: