I am a child of the eighties. Yes, I proudly wore the football-sized shoulder pads in my bold-print silk dresses. I had big, curly, teased-out-to-there hair, which I often wore in a pony-tail on the side of my head. I owned legwarmers. I carried a comb in the back pocket of my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. And I listened to Michael Jackson on the radio, back when he was actually popular.
But all of that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. I . . . (drum roll, please) was a roller-skating queen! Well, I never actually had a crown or a sash, but I did have my own roller skates. White, with blue wheels. And yes, attached to those skates were the big fuzzy pom-poms that separated the cool kids from the almost cool kids.
And I was good.
Now, the fact that I was actually good at roller skating when I have never been able to walk into a room without routinely tripping over something has always been a mystery to me. Nonetheless, I could really skate.
I could skate backward.
I could do the little whirly-spin thingies.
I could do the Cotton-Eyed Joe on wheels, without ever breaking a sweat.
And so, this past Saturday, when my dear husband and my dear children suggested that we go roller skating, I did what any self-respecting roller-skating child of the eighties would do.
I told them they were nuts.
Seriously, I hadn’t been skating in over twenty years! I currently have all of my bones intact, and I like it that way. I had no desire to tempt fate.
Unfortunately, they didn’t care. I was outvoted, three to one, and off we went to the skating rink.
Of course, right there in the entry, over the ticket window, was one of those enter-at-your-own-risk-and-you-can’t-sue-us-if-you-die signs. Very comforting.
We got our skates, and I took my time helping Foster with his. Then, I laced up my own skates. Too big. Aww, shucks. I strolled back over to the skate counter and exchanged them for a different size. Hey, I could make this last all afternoon if I tried! I leisurely laced up the new skates, and this time they fit. DRATS!
Finally, the mother part of my soul won out over the self-preservation part. I didn’t want to send my babies out to be trampled by strangers. If they were going to break anyone’s fall, it was going to be mine.
And slowly, slowly, it all began to come back to me. Those wheels under my feet weren’t that scary after all. Before I knew it, I was teaching my children to skate. I was skating backwards, urging them forward. I was smiling and laughing. Believe it or not, I was actually having fun!
I couldn’t believe it! After all these years, I still had it! I could skate! Before long, I was out there, making a fool of myself, doing the Macarena, whizzing past the floor monitors, skating like I had back in the day and having the time of my life!
And then, there it was – blaring over the loudspeaker! The new and improved version of “The Boot-Scootin’ Boogie”! Well, if that’s not an invitation to show off, I don’t know what is. Off I went like a bullet, scootin’ around that floor like I did this every week. I was singin’ along with the words as my poor family pretended they didn’t know me, when BAM! There I landed. Flat on my bottom. That is the first time in my life that I have been grateful for the extra padding I have acquired there in the last few years.
And do you know what I did then?
I laughed and laughed. And then I got back up, and started skating again. (A little slower, a little less showy.)
And I honestly had the time of my life.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”