Stef went roller blading again today. I asked if I could skate along.
Last week she bought skates, was very unhappy with them and returned them. Now, with new blades, she’s a speed demon. It only took a few seconds for her to ask if it was OK to skate ahead (and leave me behind).
I plodded along with my skates, now questioning their ability to get the job done. Over time, the edges of the front wheels have been carved, hitting the ground at the point of a “V.” They look like tires on a car with bad front end alignment. Maybe it’s new skate time for me too?
People on skates and bikes were passing me by as I huffed and puffed along. I passed no one, other than those who had been eligible to vote for Harry Truman.
One woman on skates who passed me a few minutes earlier was resting as I crossed an intersection. As I passed by, she started up again and we traded small talk for a few minutes.
She was a naturopathic physician. They don’t disdain conventional medicine, but they do deal heavily in herbs and natural things. The doctor had a tattoo just below her shoulder.
“So, I should take hemlock,” I asked?
I hope she has great healing powers, because she wasn’t wearing wrist guards. That’s the one part of skating safety I never miss. The others biggies, head gear and knee pads… well, don’t ask.
She skated on into the distance as I tried to remain upright and in motion. There is little ‘coast’ with this current set of skates.
Stef was nowhere to be seen when I turned around. It’s tough to gauge when you’ve reached ‘halfway to death,’ so you don’t overdo it. It felt like I was properly baked and sat on a stone bench to rest a minute.
I began to chat with a man who was riding alongside his five year old daughter. She was on a ‘princess bike’ with training wheels.
I explained that his daughter’s path was now set. Form would trump function from here on out. Princess bikes were just the beginning. Cute would beat reliable. It’s only now, approaching her 21st birthday, that Stef is starting to back down on this… but only a little.
Greg, the five year old’s father, told me he worked for a newspaper in a nearby town. We both commiserated at the state of media, our job future and the blessing and curse of the Internet as it applies to old media.
By then Stef was riding our way. I looked at her and looked at Greg’s five year old. It doesn’t seem so long ago Steffie was that age.
Everything everyone said was true. It does go by in the blink of an eye. There’s no way to fully comprehend that until after its happened.
Stef rode off and I tried to follow. My legs are a lot longer, but I just couldn’t keep up. In fact, while I was still a minute or so from the car, my cellphone chirped. She wanted to know where I was!