March 6, 2012

My Daughters, The Uneven Skating Rink

One of the problems that couples may encounter after they have children, (aside from lack of sleep, decreased liquid assets, increased stress, depression, nausea, upset stomach, flu-like symptoms, etc.) is the lack of time spent together.  You find yourself spending all of your free time with the children, or, if you're taking breaks from them, doing so one at a time.  This may be good for the family dynamic and cohesion and all that crap, but it wreaks havoc on your marital relationship.  Sara and I were having this issue.  Several times a month, we would look over at each other, gaze loving into one another's eyes, exclaim how glad we were to see the other and how it has been so long since we spent time, just the two of us.  We then promptly fell asleep, only to be woken, if not by the babies, then by our respective alarm clocks at separate times to get to our respective jobs.

But this is not a tale of those issues.  It is a tale of the solution and the (my) problem arising from that solution.

Several months ago, we were wandering around the mall and I offered to buy my lovely wife a chocolate and peanut butter coated pretzel from the candy store.  While there, Sara happened to notice a flyer for a roller derby league that was forming in our area.

She took a tab, contacted the woman in charge and in mid-February, we found ourselves at an exhibition bout watching women on roller skates beat each other up in a very NASCAR-esque fashion (not domestically, but geometrically.)  It was amazing!  We rented some skates and rolled around with the people for a while after the bout ended and we were hooked.

Sara got more information about joining the league and bought a nice set of starter skates and pads.
She's badass!
Not to be outdone, Harper had a go as well!

Since receiving her skates, we have been skating every weekend, at least once.  This past weekend, we managed to convince some friends to come with us.  So we went with them on Friday.  Then the derby group went on Saturday, so we went with them too.  Then Sara had practice on Sunday, so she went to that as well.

Sara has even gotten a new hair style that I could only describe as derby-fied.
The lighting doesn't do justice to the color.
On top of the fact that skating is amazingly fun and good for us, the group of people involved are incredible.

I am, historically, a negative, cynical person.  I have a tendency to surround myself with people who are like-minded, people who enjoy dark humor and may feel a certain level of superiority over the simpletons who we suffer to inhabit our space.  In short, we are good people, but necessarily the nicest.

This group is completely different.  They are happy, positive, open, caring, supportive, joyful and free.  Normally, these are all qualities that I find exceedingly annoying and borderline cultish, but every person in this group pulls it off with panache and grace.  They see the good side of all situations and I am finding myself inspired.

I don't want it to seem like they are crazy people, willingly blind to the ills of the world.  They are realists in the truest sense of the word.  They have difficulties and problems like everyone else, but they don't seem to dwell on them.  They have an attitude about life that puts me in mind of Walter Sobchak. Y'know, when he's not being angry, stubborn, insane or ... Walter.
F@ck it, dude.  Let's go skating!

These people have been welcoming to both of us, in spite of the fact that Sara is the one in derby and I'm just a spectator.  Although, I have expressed my interest in being an announcer at the bouts since I can't skate on the team.  It has felt like we have been welcomed into a new family with open arms and hearts.
Me with two new friends who don't know me well enough to hate me.  Yet.
Because of who I am, I can't simply let a good thing be a good thing.  I have been overthinking everything around our new obsession.  Primarily that derby was supposed to be Sara's thing and I am terrified that I am going to elbow my way in and make it mine.  I want it to be hers.  Everyone is very excited for her and I am too.  I don't want to steal it from her.

This line of thought has been forcing my mind to go places that I don't wish it to go.  It came to a bit of a head yesterday when Harper managed to get into some Vaseline when I was taking care of Brynn.  The results, predictably, were as follows:

When she saw how upset I was, she sat in the corner, watching me clean the TV stand, trying to not cry.  When I saw this, I realized that I am doing something terribly wrong as a parent.  She's 2.  She's going to get into things, she's going to make messes, she's going to destroy things.  My anger at this particular incident was totally misdirected.  Luckily, I was able to catch it and give her hugs and reassure her that I wasn't angry with her.

I've been working through some things in my head and I'm almost back to where I need to be.  I know I scare Sara a bit when I do this.  Perhaps if I did it out loud, while laying on a couch, it wouldn't seem as crazy, but this is how I currently am able to work through things.  Writing helps.  While this blog has been sporadic as of late (sorry to Heather, Brittany, my mom and the few others who anxiously await my updates tolerate my rants to see cute pictures of my kids), just because I'm not posting doesn't mean I'm not writing, or thinking about what I want to write.

I am supposed to be working out after school with some of my coworkers, but I don't think I'll be good company today.

I have my blades in the car.  Maybe I'll skate the empty halls of the school and think until it's time to pick the girls up from daycare.

Skating seems to clear my mind.
They don't make potatoes like THESE at daycare!



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