Ice, Ice Baby

Parenting Tip:  Trust your spouse more often.

This winter we have waited quite some time for snow. So much so that when it finally came I truly felt like a kid again. I discovered how much I love sledding in -25 weather (just wear your snow pants, hot pockets and scarfs !). My son felt that I was a hero - out there in the cold, racing up the hill. It is a great way to get exhilarating exercise (something that treadmills just can't give you).

Given that I was pregnant last winter I was excited to have some cold thrills again, ones that were not permitted last winter. My husband Rob also decide that this was the year we had to have a backyard rink. I had been telling him for years I didn't want a backyard rink. I said "it will ruin the grass". "It will be a sloppy mess".

 However, I saw how much fun our son had this year going to the skating rink with his dad. I decided that I had to loosen up and live a little. I thought I wasn't going to skate myself because up until now skating has ranked pretty low on my favourite things to do. But then I watched how much trouble it is to make a rink. By the way, according to my sister, it doesn't ruin your grass, she is a landscape architect , she says it makes your grass greener. At first the harsh realities of rink making frustrated me. I would be at home with our two kids (one a baby) and we would be busy trying to get stuff done before Christmas and then Rob would say "gotta water the rink". I would laugh at first but after days on end I thought "for gosh sake get this over with already". It was not easy, it takes tremendous patience (Yes, Rob has lots of patience for ice) and your hose freezes a lot. But Rob discovered doing laundry helps unfreeze it - so he has been doing more laundry. I like that.

He also was supported by our facebook friends, every Canadian can't help but support him. Skating is our tradition. What is more canadian then making your own rink. Guess what? When it was finished I actually felt excited to skate. It reminded me of when I was a little kid, skating on our cottage river. I love how old childhood memories come to light when you are having fun.

Guess what I learned now that the skating rink is up and running?  THAT I LOVE PLAYING HOCKEY. There is something to be said about hitting pucks against a wood board to get your aggression out.  I LOVE IT. Rob has been teaching me how to shoot a stick, and I AM ACTUALLY LISTENING. Not just nodding and pretending to listen to him. I think this hockey/rink thing could be great for our marriage. Our son thought tonight we were the coolest parents ever because we went out for an skate after dark (after dinner even!). We took an old lamp as our flood light (the hockey puck broke the bulb but better than a window I say!).  When our son got sick of skating Rob pulled him around in a circle on the sled which got lots of giggles. Then we took our baby and gave him a whirl around the rink in his exercise stroller (don't worry grandmas - it wasn't minus -25, it was a balmy -6). He can't talk yet. But I think he liked it a lot. Ohh and we took time to do a few snow angels as well. If you want to learn more about building your own rink visit Don't see your own personal skating rink in your immediate future? Try and outdoor skating rink in your community. This web site highlights outdoor skating rinks in Toronto: , Outside of Toronto, visit your local City Parks and Recreation web site.



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