Turns out rollerskating is like riding a bike. Once your body learns how to balance itself while perched atop a set of wheels, it doesn't forget. Last night I took my twins rollerskating for the first time, which means I took myself rollerskating for the first time in over a decade. I laced up the borrowed (probably smelly) brown skates with orange wheels while sitting on a wooden bench old enough to have supported my grandparents as they laced up their brown skates with orange wheels half a century ago. I stood up and awkwardly stepped across the patterned carpet (whilst encouraging my three-year-olds to do the same) to the rink, a dimly lit ellipse with a carpeted wall that is probably much the same as any other roller rink in the Midwest, possibly in America. Holding on to the wall and (and my three-year-old), I rolled out onto the rink and was instantly reminded of my many revolutions around the hanging disco balls that decorated every rink of my childhood. The memories from my childhood of the 1980s and 1990s were only intensified as Michael Jackson was played over the sound system, and I was very nearly transported back time-machine-style when C & C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" boomed through the speakers. The memory of movement is curious, it took merely seconds for my body to remember to lean forward and roll forward. Good thing, because a three-year-old on skates requires a bit of support. I remember learning to skate; my childhood best friend Lisa's mom kindly held my hand as I learned to slightly lean forward so as to not fall over. I never became a great skater (I still can't go backwards), but I became a decent enough skater to stay upright, even while my children tested their balance and attempted to learn to stay upright themselves. It would be remiss if I did not mention the last time I went rollerskating. It was about ten years ago for a friend's birthday. Most of us were reliving our junior high days, with the exception of one of my friends, I'll call him V, who had never been rollerskating before. Since I had not had drinks with dinner (and could skate upright), V, who has about 50 pounds on me, leaned on me as we circled the rink along the carpeted wall. It was hilarious at the time, but what I didn't realize is that hilarity and memory of movement would be recalled while teaching my 40-pound kids to roller skate. A drunk 25-year-old is a lot like a 3-year-old on roller skates.
I find myself thinking about my surgery at odd times, like while rollerskating. Not about the actual procedure, but the fact that I am here and well. I feel great; I am tumor free. It is a privilege to be part of the childhood memories my children are acquiring, and for that I am infinitely thankful.