I am not whining. Well, perhaps I am whining just a bit. What I am trying to do is figure out how to make quiet moments stretch into something that is beneficial for, introspective about and retrospective of my life. As all things do, this brought me back to skating and the mental snapshots that are the album pages I turn when I close my eyes and reflect on this continuing journey.
It is interesting, but what comes back to me in these now faded images are my own "Kodak Moments." Without boring you all to death, I'll share a few. There is a point to this blog, so read on - or skip to the end for the denouement.
- First steps on the ice, not only my skaters but mine. We were both about 2 years old.
- Red crab claws hand-sewn by me for "Under the Sea."
- Ear infections and banging up the car on Valentines Day on the way to Pueblo for competition.
- Being on the same ice in warmup with people who are still in the sport and are still great, great friends some 20 years later (wow, remember that Braden?)
- Solo dance competition in Pueblo and having to duck below the boards so we couldn't be seen laughing as the coach and I were trying to figure out if the steps on the ice had anything at ALL to do with the music being played (remember, Lisa W?)
- Pink and black checked pants and a flopping tie and suspenders that hailed "Happy Feet." We still have both hanging in the closet somewhere, along with the "Big Spender" hat that just wouldn't stay on. SO funny to look at that video now!
- Stitches in my chin..Toe Pick!
- Zorba the Greek
- dance, dance, pairs, pairs...solo
- Annie's Edges
- Elements of Style and Ann Margreth's pizza plate rule for your arms still makes me smile
- Dorothy Hamill silently floating in an ice induced early morning fog, skating interpretatively in only Mother Nature's sunlight to "Unchained Melody" as a fortunate few of us watched in silent awe through open board doors and dirty hockey glass not daring to breathe because we didn't want to break the magic.
- Sitting upstairs at the Ice Garden during a Stars on Ice rehearsal after Paul Wylie medaled in Albertville. It was just the two of us.We talked for nearly 20 minutes about his memories of skating and the Ice Garden back in the days when he began. He left and my only thought was that most people on the planet would have killed to have had that moment. Of course, it now seems prophetic in its own Six Degrees of Separation kind of way.
- Weekly, long drives from the mountains to the Springs. Those were my favorite times of being alone to just talk, help with homework, listen to music and laugh. I miss those times most of all.
- Finding a lost ring in the playground after a particularly difficult bullying session at school, and keeping the ring to remember what happened and what came out of it - a family phrase to live by, "Success will be your best revenge."
- Olde World bagels for breakfast - and lunch - and occasionally dinner
- The ever-present Starbucks
- Learning you are not immortal, and neither are your friends. Then learning to move on.
- Learning who your friends are; learning that it changes depending as much on your needs as theirs.
So, why have I shared this album of memories that most of you don't care about? It's simple: My memories are mine. You are outside observers to what has been nearly a third of my life. What troubles me is when I see or talk to young skating parents who are not taking the time to build their own Kodak Moments. Their snapshots are Polaroids; quick to develop and even faster to fade. Their focus is blurry and the lens isn't pointing at what really matters - their skaters. After all, they should be the subjects of their attention and the ones who create those memories in dots, lines, dashes and broad colorful strokes.
Observe life, people. Take in your surroundings. File bits and pieces of conversations; cherish the quiet times with your child and seek to create them in your lives. File them away in your mental scrapbook as mementos. They are fleeting. And if the cover of your book is only decoupaged with medals and ribbons, with snapshots of podiums and trophies, you're probably not saving what is truly the most precious thing of all: Experiences.