"I don't want to go" Tully objected loudly. "He doesn't want to come because he wants to go and play with Michael" Angus quickly dobbed. Michael lives across the road and is Tully's new best friend and they have been joined at the hip these past weeks. Seeing a possible opening to get out of roller skating I hastily offered " well I can stay home with him". As I said this I saw G's face crumple with disappointment. "I just thought this might be a nice family thing we can all do together".
Right there and then it happened, a situation that all mothers understand and more than likely have experienced. That is being coerced into something they didn't want to do through the means of emotional warfare and I was hit bad. Woman down! Woman down! My guilt gland was activated, caving was in progress . I found myself offering a solution that would win Tully's support for the activity. " How about you invite Michae and then we can all go happyl" ? Minutes later the kids, Michael included,G and I set off for some family bonding. As we drove I began feeling better about roller skating, why it must be like riding a bike once I got going I'd be off back in Xanadu! I pictured this in mind, me skating around the rink to old roller classic tunes, dodging and weaving through the newbies, my kids laughing with admiration :"look at mum go!". I began to wonder if I could even speed skate again. A shrill of excitement swept through me. "Yeah! Let"s go skating!"
We arrive, get our skates and I am a little embarassed to admit that I got mine on first and rushed to the rink leaving my husband to deal with the kids and tying their skates on. But I was cluey here, I remembered what a shock it was once you left the carpeted area and put a skate on the actual rink, how your skates slip out from under you so very fast; anticpation was required here. I gingerly began to move.,whoa! I nearly slipped out with the first movement. I recovered and began a very careful and calculated circuit of the rink. Left, right, left right-brakes are on the toes.
Hey! This will be ok, I think to myself. Top stoppers, remember stoppers and I will be ok. I visualised myself skating again, in my head I could hear Cliff Richard and the twang of Ballroom Blitz . Yes, yes I nod to myself I can do this for sure, the kids I are gonna think I am so cool. Circuit two: still clutching the rail, my 5 year old joins me. I am feeling confident now, I am convinced any second now it will click in and I will be rolling. So I offer her some adivce on "how to skate". She goes to fall, I stoop to stop her. My skates slip out. I crash backwards heavily onto my bum. Pain sears through me. Both kinds: actual physical pain and the pain of embarrassment. I abandon Martha and head with desperation to my seat. I am feeling giddy, I push kids out of the way, I must sit down.
Within five minutes I had fallen, damaged my tail bone (an injury that I am nursing a week later) handed in my skates and was now reeling in pain at our table. Later the real pain would set in, the realisation pain. For sure there is NO Xanadu left me, no half axles, no graduation to roller blades in my future. For now it is just me and the codeine left to ponder measures to take against succumbing to maternal guilt trips that will only lead to tears - my tears!