Note: The story you are about to read is 100% true and has not been embellished. I wish it had.
You know the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” It’s true.
This week, my oldest had accomplished a big goal he had, and we said that he could pick out a fun family activity as his reward for a job well done. Well, he chose roller skating. Yeah. I’ll wait to let that one sink in a minute for you.
Now, when I was little, I LIVED in roller skates. I mean I used to ride my bike with my roller skates on so that I could roller skate once I reached my destination. I was hard core. I remember the Christmas when I finally got super fancy roller skates, complete with orange wheels, orange toe stops and white boots like ice skates. I had arrived. I even made a variety of yarn pom poms to adorn them to complete that happening ‘70s look.
In the winter, I roller skated for hours and hours in our basement to a 45 of America’s “Horse with No Name” — even now whenever I hear that song, I can still smell the combination of musty-ish basement and sawdust from my dad’s workshop; I can feel the breeze flowing through my feathered hair as I did spin after spin and practiced gracefully skating backwards. Life was good.
So when my son decided on this fun family activity, I thought, “Sure. I bet I still have a few moves left.” My husband was more realistic about his abilities. “I will fall. A lot. And I’ll break.” “Fine,” I said, “You can just stay home with Amazon Warrior Princess.” He took that deal faster than my kids can down a plate full of bacon. “Okay,” I confidently thought, “You got this. You’ll be the cool mom.” And off the boys and I went.
We arrived at the rink. It was classic old-school with skaters skating counter-clockwise, painted floors, dimmed lights, disco ball and DJ booth in the corner. “Oh yeah. I am totally Mom of the Year.” My youngest and I laced up our rental skates, while the kid of honor donned his roller blades because he was way cooler. Off he went to get one of those ghetto walkers — you know, the little frames made of duct tape and PVC pipe on wheels for beginning skaters to hang on to for dear life — for his little brother, who was more realistic about his abilities. Boy wonder went zooming off on his roller blades, while my realist white-knuckled the PVC pipes and gingerly rolled his way to the rink floor.
I stood up and skittered around on my wheels a bit. “Hmmm…I don’t remember the wheels being this rolly. Toe stops. Remember to use your toe stops.” I followed my son who had managed to make it to the rink gate on his own and was trying to navigate the step up to the skating floor. “You got this buddy,” I said with confidence. Slowly we made our way to the center of the rink, where the beginner skaters were relegated, scooting around with their PCV frames, falling at alarming rates. But they always popped right up, unfazed and uninjured. We proceeded to slowly make a few laps until he wiped out for the first time. He went all grouchy-old-man, complaining his knee and butt hurt. I offered to kiss them in front of everyone and he laughed. And off we hobbled.
I was starting to regain my confidence, “I just needed to get my skating legs again. This is getting better.” I rounded the curve and then it happened. I fell. Hard. On my ass. I think I bounced a bit.
Now many of you may already know this, but after you’ve had three babies, your body changes. Certain muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be. Yes. I peed myself a little bit when I crashed. After I got over the shock, I plastered a smile on my face and carefully got up, fervently praying I hadn’t left a puddle or cracks in the concrete where I had fallen. My oldest zoomed up, “Are you alright, Mom?!?!?” I laughed and said, “I’m fine! I’m fine! It’s just been a while since I’ve skated.” And off he went, semi-reassured his mother did not need an ambulance.
I caught up to my younger son, who was head-down with his death-grip, diligently concentrating on making forward progress and unfazed by the near disaster of my crash. I said, “Hey bud, I’m going to the bathroom, you okay by yourself for a bit?” He nodded and shuffled off.
I finally made it to the bathroom to check out the damage. Luckily I was alone and could navigate the stall in solitary humiliation. “Why don’t they have handicap bars in these things???” I thought. I assessed the damage and it wasn’t too bad. “Okay. Brush yourself off and get back out there. You can do it!” I scooted out of the bathroom and made my way back toward the rink. Suddenly my feet were over my head, I was on my back and I saw my life flash before my eyes. I somehow managed to get up with a smile on my face and stood there wobbly legged. My son and another girl came flying up, “Are you OKAY?!? You got up smiling, but if that had happened to me, I would have been CRYING!” the darling girl said with deep concern. I assured her I was just fine and thanked her for checking on me.
You’re probably wondering why only people aged 10 and under showed any concern. Well, I have thoughts on this. One, the adults were too busy snarfing down the left over birthday cake and pizza left by their party-going kids to even notice my personal train-wreck. Or two, they were too stunned at the ridiculousness of my horror-show that they didn’t know what to do. I’m hoping for the former, but am going to check YouTube shortly to see if someone caught it on video and it’s gone viral.
Luckily the boys were ready for a break, and I admitted defeat and carefully made my way to turn in my skates before I went and bought them a snack. My youngest called it a day, mooched some quarters off me for video games and my oldest went off to skate some more. I sat at the table and texted my wonderful neighbor who is a nurse practitioner. “Uhh…how do you tell the difference between a sprained and a broken wrist? Umm…Asking for a friend.” She quickly responded that it was hard to tell, as they have a lot of the same symptoms and asked what had happened. I told her and she said, “Oh. Well, you’ll probably want to get that x-rayed.” Awesome. When I had fallen the second time, I landed hard on my wrist and palm to catch myself and it was still really hurting and was starting to swell. It was hard to touch my thumb to my finger tips and I was feeling a little nauseous. Luckily the boys were ready to go home at this point and we staggered out to the car. It was a quiet ride home, as I think they knew better than to poke the bear and start fighting.
Once home, I looked and it had started to bruise. I iced it and took some Alleve and plopped my sore body on the couch. After about 45 minutes, it wasn’t feeling much better, and I told my husband I was going to get it over with and go to the ER to get it checked out. “Hey. At least I’ll get out of doing bedtime, this way.” I thought.
Luckily the ER wasn’t very busy and I got checked right in. “Date of birth?” the guy behind the desk asked me. I told him. “Wait. What year??” he asked. “1972. Yeah. It’s been awhile.” This sent the person next to him into gales of laughter, and he sheepishly apologized and told me to go have a seat.
Once the nurse took me back to a room, he asked me how I had injured my hand. I sullenly responded, “I thought I’d be cool and take my kids roller skating.” He looked up from his typing, “Roller skating?” I figured he thought I was as big an idiot as I thought I was. “Do they even have roller rinks anymore?!” I assured him that oh, yes. They do.
The doctor soon came in and examined me, keeping his thoughts of my stupidity to himself. They took some x-rays and he finally came back. “The radiologist and I looked at it and it’s not broken. It’s just a bone bruise. I can wrap it for you and you can continue to ice it and take Ibuprofen.” Basically, “You have a boo boo, lady. Why don’t you grab a sucker on the way out?” So off I slunk back home. Worse yet, I didn’t even get out of doing bedtime.
So moral of the story: as you get old, know your limitations. Cockiness will screw you every time. And next time I see a commercial for Poise Pads, I think I’ll pay a little closer attention.