Saturday I got in a time machine and pressed the button for my elementary and junior high years.
Yep, it was my littles’ first skating party.
At the same skating rink that the popular children hung out at when I was in school. (I was not one of them.)
I remember the first time I was invited to a birthday skating party. I was in what is now called middle school. It was a “scandalous” party, as both boys and girls were invited. A first for many of us. There was much discussion that there would be something called “Couple Skate.” I didn’t know what it was. I just knew life would never be the same again.
The funny thing is I don’t remember the party itself–just the anticipation, buildup, excitement, and worry BEFORE the party. I don’t even remember whose party it was.
On Saturday we arrived and the littles had their hands stamped. Memory–check. We walked around to the party area and met their friends. All of them were so excited–it was downright cute. Our Princess couldn’t wait to get some skates on her feet and try it. The only other time she has skated has been in our driveway. With much help. Cooter has never had skates on his feet. We barely had his shoes on his feet, and our Princess was heading out to the skate floor. She and one of our neighborfriends joined hands and started off around the oval path everyone else was following. They were so precious. I wasn’t sure which girl was more likely to fall at that point. But they got it together.
I figured we would have to get skates for either me or my Fella (oh please volunteer *fingers crossed*), so we could help Cooter get his legs under him. But wonder of wonders, Mamas and Daddies were out there in their tennis shoes, etc. walking around with their beginner skaters. They even had a special area in the middle reserved especially for them. As I got over my worries about how to handle my new skaters, I started to look around and take it all in.
Oh. My. Word.
It was 1980 all over again. Seriously.
Girls were decked out like Cyndi Lauper with the tutu skirts and colorful socks and hairbands. They flew around the skating rink like they’d been born with skates on their feet. The smell of popcorn and sweaty feet blended together in a scent called “Reminiscent.” And then I started listening, really listening, to the music. Much of it was from my youth.
I seriously think somehow I did hop in a time machine.
I was standing at the side of the rink, watching my littles having a blast. “Ghostbusters” was playing. My little guy was out there trying to dance his little heart out (he loves him some music with a good beat). With. Skates. On.
Oh my stars the cuteness. Off the chart.
His poor Daddy. It was like trying to wrangle an octopus. He was trying to keep Cooter from falling over or worse, pulling him over, as the little guy’s hips were giving Elvis some serious competition and his blonde hair was flying as his head bobbed with the beat.
The song ended, and my laughter gradually subsided. As the next song started, it only took about three seconds for me to “name that tune.”
What time was it?
Again, with the skate dancing. As I was watching Cooter and checking our Princess’ progress, I heard someone behind me doing a great job of singing the song right along with MC Hammer. I looked back and got real tickled. There was this older guy singing his heart out. He knew every single part, including the fast parts. Wow. How funny was that?
As the song came to an end, I looked at the guy again.
Oh good gracious, this man was my age. Or maybe even <gulp> a few years younger.
So much for time travel.
I saw his teenager come up and tease him about his singing. His pre-teen child walked by and waved. This guy, rocking out to Hammer Time and telling all those around him, very emphatically, “Can’t touch this!”–he really was around my age.
What a wake-up call. That brought me back to 2014 very quickly.
Y’all I have my days that I feel as old as Methuselah. And act like it too, I’m sure. But some days, and especially that day, it’s like I never aged out of my teens, and that young girl is aching to get out and dance her heart out like she never had the courage to do the first time around. I was there on Saturday. I felt young and wished, for a moment or twelve, that they had a dance floor adjacent to the skating rink. How much fun would that be? For just a little while I was young. Until that old guy started singing, and I looked and saw myself.
I felt my age again really fast.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I like a lot about this age. When I turned 30, I felt like the world started taking me just a little bit more seriously. As 40 rolled around, I found I stopped taking myself quite so seriously. How freeing was that? Not wishing away the years, but I’m curious what 50 will bring when it gets here. What all of this on Saturday reiterated for me was an age old truth.
Age is in our heads. You’re only as old as you feel. And it can change. Some days I feel every bit of my years, and some days my heart and mind are so heavy, they age me even further. But on some special days, when the music takes me back or the weather is as beautiful as my favorite spring day from childhood or there is the smell of fresh-cut grass in the air, I am ten again–with nearly all my life ahead of me and a heart filled with hope and a mind that couldn’t yet comprehend the wonders and heartbreaks ahead of me.
I think the mind is the ultimate time machine, isn’t it? So thankful for my trip back on Saturday.
The littles have asked to go back again. You know, I think we might just do it. For the children, of course. 😉 Every single one of us.
In honor of my dancing boy and the song that stirred the pot this weekend, here’s a Star Wars Legos version of “Can’t Touch This.” May it bring the child in you great delight.