"Look out at the darkness, and you will see, just call my name and I'll be there." -Metallica, "The Small Hours"

Skate Night from Hell

So let’s rewind for a second; I’m sick. Yesterday the doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis and pharyngitis (which I think is doctor-speak for “sore throat”). Four prescriptions and one shot and I’m just now starting to feel better. Mason, on the other hand, is just starting to come down with it all. When I picked him up from school yesterday he said he felt icky, and all he wanted to do yesterday afternoon was lie on the couch and watch television.

Jump forward a couple of hours — it’s Skate Night! Once a month, the local elementary schools have a skate night at our local skating rink, Yukon on Wheels. Mason said he was feeling a little better when he remembered it was skate night, and so we decided the whole family would go.

Long time readers may remember our last visit to Yukon on Wheels. If not, here’s a quick summary — Mason and I went, I didn’t skate, Mason did, fifteen minutes into the evening Mason fell so hard that I thought he might have broken his arm, and we left with him screaming. I thought no matter how last night went, it couldn’t be and worse than our previous visit. It was probably a tie.

Our first mistake of the night was putting roller skates on everybody, including Morgan. It seemed like a cute idea at the time but first of all it cost $4.50 per person (which seems kind of high for a two-year-old to roller skate), and second of all at no time was Morgan able to stand under her own power, which meant someone had to hold her up at all times. So now all of a sudden instead of the family going to the skating rink, jobs become apparent — do you want to be the parent out skating with Mason, or the parent standing around holding Morgan up?

The second mistake was putting roller skates on ME. You know, as a kid I had pretty good balance. I was good at things like skateboarding and katate and roller skating. I don’t know what happened, but roller skating is not like riding a bike — you can and do forget how to roller skate over time. Even though I remembered the motions, the coordination factor was just not there. My first goal was to not look like a fool but I quickly gave that up and switched to operation “Just Don’t Fall” — and if that meant grabbing on to the side rail (or a kid) for balance, so be it. I’d say I probably did five laps throughout the night, each one looking like a person with some sort of neurological disorder. It was not pretty.

Morgan lost interest in skating early on (thank God). Mommy had the foresight to bring some paper and markers and that kept Morgan occupied. I quickly saw watching her was a way to get off of wheels myself, and so the two of us awkwardly walked and rolled our way to the snack bar.

Mason hung in there all night, even though his body gave out. It was obvious he was feeling bad, and pretty soon he started crying about everything. He cried when I skated too close to him. He cried when I got too far away from him. He cried because he couldn’t get his skates off. Or back on. I tried to talk the clan into leaving early, but no — apparently at the end of the night, the DJ plays some song and all the kids get to dance out on the rink, skates or no skates. Of course last night they didn’t play the song or do the dance, which made Mason cry even more.

By the time we got in the car, it was apparent what the problem was. Mason started freaking out that his throat hurt, and started freaking out worse when he realized he was losing his voice. When he declined an order of ice cream to make his throat feel better, we knew things were bad. After dropping Morgan and I off to the house, Mason and Mommy continued on to the after hours clinic, where Mason was diagnosed with the same junk I have. Susan said her throat is starting to hurt, too. Man what a shame that I am going out of town next week, leaving behind a bunch of sickos …

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