As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve decided that once a week I’ll tell a story from my life that (hopefully) my kids can enjoy some day when they’re older. It could be a funny story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a morality tale, or even just a bunch of memories about a certain place or person. In the end, they’re just random stories that will ultimately give my kids an idea of who their father was.
Growing up as a kid, my family moved around quite a bit. Dad worked at a bank and had worked his way up to being manager. Back in the late 70′s & early 80′s, branch managers moved around often…”graduating” to larger branches.
When my dad left banking as a career, he entered into the restaurant business and moved the family to his home town in the early 80′s.
As you can imagine, it was a bit difficult to keep and maintain friends…especially when I’d only be in a school for two years at a time before having to start over again in another school. I think this is why I’m a bit of an extrovert now…I used my personality to (hopefully) make friends and make kids laugh. Of course, I also got into trouble with teachers a lot, too…but that was to be expected, I think.
This move to my dad’s home town was the final move I had as a kid (of course, I say that but I still ended up going to two different elementary schools while in sixth grade). I began to make friends at the second school and after a couple of weeks was told about a weekly hot-spot for kids.
What was this hot spot? The roller-skating rink.
The Alfran was a building where, every Friday evening, all of the local underage kids would go to hang out and roller-skate to their favourite tunes. I asked my parents to go one night and they agreed. I was hoping to meet up with some of my new friends and forge some stronger bonds (or something like that…I was in sixth grade…what the heck did I know about “bonding relationships”??).
I need to stress that I’d never roller-skated before. Ever.
So my folks dropped me off and I strapped on some roller-skates and tried to find my friends. I don’t remember seeing many people that I recognized, but I remember vividly the songs that were playing as the kids skated round and round in a circle.
And yes…kids who were “dating” even held hands to this song:
At this point the night is a little blurry. All I know is that I was skating by myself and my legs started flying out from under me. Without hesitation, I braced my fall with my left arm. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my wrist and I knew my night was done.
The pain wasn’t overwhelming, but it was enough that I just wanted to go home. I called my mom to come pick me up. I felt bad because I was leaving early but I didn’t see a lot of my new friends so I didn’t mind that much, either.
As soon as I saw my mom enter the building, I broke down in tears. I can’t exactly explain why, but the pain suddenly felt worse and I felt as though everything I had been holding in to make myself look “tough” in front of these other kids just didn’t matter when my mom walked through the door and I could just let it all out.
I don’t know if that feeling has ever gone away.
I didn’t break my wrist…it was only a cracked bone. To this day, it’s the only bone I ever broke. But the bond I made with my mom on that night has never been broken.