Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let the Games Begin

It's 10ish Wednesday night. Dan and I are doing the NY Times crossword puzzle (I just got polaris and gator, if you did today's), so I figured I'd finally catch up here, in between figuring out 5 letters for "like a towelette" (moist). We have also become big Ken Ken players which now appears above the crosswords every day. Our friends, Robert Fuhrer and Lisa Shamus, developed the game. We gave out a bunch of the Ken Ken books for the holidays, and if you haven't played it, check it out. Great fun.
So winter break was last week, and the boys and I did lots of fun stuff. We went to the Museum of Art and Design in the city to see the second lives: remixing the ordinary exhibit. Wonderful works. We especially loved the chandelier made out of eye glasses. (Just realized that "gator" was wrong). As my sons and I were getting our tickets, I saw a woman that I recognized from Phil Gushee's Meisner acting class that I took forever ago. It was fun to say hello. Brought back tons of memories of repetition and independent activities - Meisner's two touchstone exercises. There was one guy in the class - very talented - who used to play that song "Higher Love" all the time on his walkman - yes, this is very pre-iPod. We went to see the big Van Gogh retrospective at the Met together that year, and we splurged on the Phillipe de Montebello audio tour of it, passing the headphones back and forth to each other as we walked through the galleries. We were broke. I was waitressing, and I can't remember what he did. I can't even remember his name. We were just friends, acting class friends. But what a great time that was. I remember one morning waking up after working late at the restaurant, and I think I was going to do my voice work (not singing, the acting kind) and then go for a run, and I remember lying in my bed, in the small bedroom that I had in the large pre-war apartment on West End Avenue that I shared with a NY politician's daughter and a producer on 60 Minutes (Richard is still on that show, I saw his credit on a segment recently. He was such a sweet man), and realizing that I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. I didn't have a lot of money, but I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. That was a wonderful moment. And I knew I was lucky. Not that it was easy, though what is? But I still got to be doing, pursuing what I wanted. (Dan just figured out that the correct answer for the "gator" clue is otter). Anyway.
So the museum was great fun, and then we fought the masses at Whole Foods in Columbus Circle for lunch. We went with friends, but it was so crowded that we sat at adjacent tables, and I would have killed for a cup of their good coffee, but wasn't up to the line for it.
The next day, the boys and I went ice skating. Okay, all I can say is that if you read that sentence and it didn't give you pause (considering that I wrote it) then, like the refrain to that terrible song, "You don't know me." Okay, seriously, I am so not the ice skater person. But my eldest son has been wanting to go, so I made plans for a lesson for him, and then a friend suggested we go for our play date, and I thought how perfect that my son can go with friends on the day before his lesson, assuming the whole time that I would just watch from the sidelines, waving with gusto every time they passed, secretly thrilled that I wasn't on the ice. Oh, how that was smashed. Though if it had to be with anyone, then this was the perfect time because our friend is great on the ice, but I still was scared of wiping out at every moment. Though, okay, on Friday, I did get a pass because my 2 year old couldn't go on the ice, so he and I stayed on the side (hooray!) and my eldest went the whole way around the rink with my friend and his daughter. I was so proud of him; he was a total natural. All I could think was it was the Yankee in him coming out. So I figured even more surely that during the lesson I'd be able to just hang on the sides. What was I thinking?? My son is not a go-off-with-a-person-he's-never-met kind of kid, so I put on the rental skates, and dutifully trudged out there to the middle of the rink. I asked Heather, the very sweet teacher, how much of ice skating is psychological. She said 50% which shocked me. I think it has to be more like 75. At least for me. Because the thing is is that I could do it. I did it. We had the lesson - march, march, march, gliiiiiiide. march, march, march, gliiiiiiiiiide. Shoulders back! Chest up! Arms out for balance! "I don't need them out for balance," my 5 year old son said. And actually, he didn't, God bless him. And then after the lesson, he and I went around the rink all by ourselves. Okay, this may sound small to you, but this is huge for me. But here's the thing. I was skating; we did skate, but I realized later that the whole time I was skating, I never really could picture myself skating. And I still kind of can't. Then a few days later I realized that a part of me doesn't want to be able to picture myself skating. That I have some attachment (hello, Zen and the Samsara of attachment) to a definition of myself as not being able to skate. When I called my sole friend here in Westchester who I was friends in Baton Rouge, as I figured she would appreciate this more than anyone, she said, "Well, there's a metaphor for balance." Which I took more in relation to my son than to me since I still can't even picture myself doing what I already did. Though I'd better be able to soon since we have another lesson this Sunday. March, march, march, gliiiiiiiiide. March, march, march, gliiiiiiiiide...............


Blogger Sheila Deeth said...

Brought back memories of a friend taking us ice skating with our kids - kids full of confidence; parents petrified. Petrified me got to be the one encouraging kid whose confidence suddenly faded.

February 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home