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First Skate

He said he wanted to do it himself. Ice skate, that is.

And that he didn’t need any help.

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Which was when I hung back on the bench without skates and glanced up knowingly when I heard one knee slap the ice…

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And then the other.

We’d been here forty seconds.

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I watched as he wobbled to the railing and then hung there, his skates zipping forwards and backwards beneath him like steak knives.

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And then I held my breath as he scissored away again, clutching the railing with half his weight

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When walking proved useless,

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He ran. Nowhere. Six inches at a time.

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Until with flailing arms he found himself face up–or down–polishing the ice.


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By the time he’d pointed to the foreign things on his feet and said,”I just want these off,” he’d ‘skated’ fifteen minutes.

Without help.

Because he hadn’t needed any…heh.


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