The last few days have given my psyche a good pummeling. I got some bad news, then some more bad news, then a bad opinion, then some good news (which, when viewed through the lens of all the bad news, seemed too good to be true). Then an acquaintance whose raison d'etre is to serve as the world's most self-aggrandizing weasel had some really great news fall right in his lap.
Basically, I've spent the last 48 hours or so convinced that I can't do anything right, a noxious thought that sends my mood commando-crawling through the catbox.
Firmly set in this foul humor, I was summoned to participate in a skating party at Wollman Rink. So crafty me decided to slaughter two avians with one projectile and invite Robert along. He and I could try a new activity and have an evening out together, and catering to him would preclude my having to interact with anybody.
Having observed two weeks of "finger skating," Robert was only too happy to come along, although he did warn me that "I'm not going to do any tricks, because I haven't learned them yet." Normally, a comment like this would have destroyed me with the cuteness, but instead I chose to focus on the inevitable letdown. Robert had spent hours watching the ice
hookers dancers glide around effortlessly, so he was surely convinced he would just zip off onto the ice, secure in the conjecture that landing a triple toe loop is a standard human talent. After a few minutes of constant falling, he'd lose interest and demand to go home. I'd be in and out in half an hour.
I should have known that my best-laid plans would go aglay when Robert put on skates for the first time and galloped effortlessly off to the rink. He launched himself onto the ice and indeed took an immediate spill ... and was delighted. So we circumnavigated the rink, about 20 minutes of trudging and tripping and clinging to the rail, and he wasn't done. He wanted to go again. And this time, he deliberately pushed away from the rail and demanded to skate with me. We made our way around a second time, sometimes advancing as far as 20 feet without falling, and when we did we just laughed our soggy, frozen asses off.
When we got home, he ran to his mama and said, "I fell down a few times, but I'm OK!" And my heart puffed up like a beach ball, because I realized my wife and I are raising a child who is adventurous enough to leap into new things with gusto and secure enough not to care if he screws up. He's comfortable in his own skin, which is the best thing any parent can wish for his kid. It's a great feeling that soothes both 1) a troubled soul and 2) severely bruised kneecaps.