Rose Tinted Glasses


have you watched Bridget Jones’s diary? If not...I don’t even know what to say right now... 

but if you have, then you’ll remember the scene where she eagerly signs up to do the live coverage of the fire station, enthusiastically jumping at her boss’s cheeky suggestion that she slide down the fire pole. “I’ll do it!” She says. 

keep your reaction to her statement and the feeling of impending doom created in that scene in mind as you picture me responding to a request for parent chaperones to the ice rink. being an african mum i was conscious of our people’s general lack of participation in school related activities. MH is always begging me to volunteer so i figured new year new mum and all that.

“Pick me!” I replied.

“We’ve got all the general parents sorted” came the response, “but we could do with parents on the ice.”

“I’ll do it!” I said.

if hindsight is 20/20 then memory must be rose tinted, because in my mind the last time i skated i was pretty much olympics ready. and so, even though i hadn’t been on the ice since before the day i was married (10yrs),  i’d activate muscle memory and be good to go. i planned on activating this memory before d-day. D-day arrived and i hadn’t acted upon the plan and i found myself standing next to a teacher with a spreadsheet and a group of 12 kids assigned to me. the sight of that spreadsheet cleared the rose-tint on my memory and activated hindsight. at that point i wondered if i should fess up about my lack of skill and call it a day. i wasn’t expecting spreadsheets! and teams! and cones! i was expecting to be skating round and round in circles and just holding MHs hand. anyway i didn’t quit. i decided to fake it till I made it. as we toddled towards the rink, eager faces looked to me to be their guide on the ice. the “yes we can!” chant from Obama’s presidential campaign was playing in my head and i marched purposefully towards the rink.

i stepped on the ice and the muscles had no memory of ever being on anything like it. my brain said “it’s slippery”, and I tried to u-turn and tell the teacher in charge that i lied, that I’m a fraud, a cheat! one of the other volunteer parents came gliding past looking like he might do a triple axle, lift and twirl on his way to the other end. i’ve never wanted someone to fall so bad. in my moment of attempted witchcraft, my little people glided past and i was carried along in the rush.  

i never got the chance to pull out. activities just started and thankfully i was only required to stand in the corner and guide the kids to the next section every 15 minutes. i stayed close to the wall as we moved, desperately trying to look nonchalant though i know i sported the Bambi look on several occasions - without going right down. 

when i eventually giggled about how i had been worried about making a fool of myself as i hadn’t been on the ice for so long, one of the teachers said this is his first time back after 15 years. dude was skating backwards and forwards, spinning around and generally winding me up. apparently it’s only my muscles that have no memory. or maybe they do. i was obviously rubbish then, and still am now. the good news is i may not have ever been good enough for the olympics, but I’m good enough for MHs class cos they’ve called me back for next week. what’s outdoor ice skating without a bit of entertainment huh?