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28th January
written by Mombo#9

I have to admit, I was feeling a bit guilty yesterday. My husband was home, battling the ravages of 15 inches of snow and ice, dealing with the “throw the wubba” demands of a fox terrier, and stacking the mail and newspapers for me to sort when I return, and there I was, lounging in the super comfort of a Magi Bed at the O. Henry Hotel.

To make it guilt to the second power, I envisioned him eating his bowl of Raisin Bran and skim milk while I sat down to a complimentary breakfast in the conservatory, overlooking the grape arbor and fountain garden, to a gourmet breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, and fresh pressed coffee. (All to be enjoyed while a cello played softly in the background.) I returned to my room to shower and lounge in an O. Henry robe while my tiny daughter slept on in her magical bed.

The lingering calmness to the soul, enriched by comfort and cello chords, was disturbed by the awakening of my former ice dancer. We had to go watch “Dance Practice.”

“Why should we go watch practice sessions now that you aren’t skating? That should be one of the perks — we can actually watch the event without attending the midnight practice sambas, and day-break run-throughs, and 20 minute “official warm-ups” that were four hours before the event.”

She looked at me. “We are at Nationals.”

I tried to stare her down. “I know, but let’s pretend it is like Christmas, we don’t want to ruin the surprise by peeking. Did you put on your robe yet? I think this is a ‘Magi Robe’.”

An hour later we were sitting on the bleachers at the practice arena. Peeking.

“I don’t understand this concept. Why do they have the practice arena right next to the main arena? That’s a little too convenient. All the nationals you went to, we had to get on a bus, ride 40 minutes, pay extra according to the gold standard of the day …”

My daughter looks at me like I might be whining.

“Remember in Portland, I think we crossed three rivers. And in St. Louis, we stayed downtown, and had to be shuttled 45 minutes away. It may have been to another state, I can’t remember.”

My daughter raises her eyebrow.

“You look like a librarian when you do that.” I tell her. She smiles and I know she is not listening but watching the senior skaters who have taken the ice.

Charlie and Meryl begin their warm up. I watch and then tell her, “They should get an Olympic Gold for stroking.”

They begin doing segments of their program and I point out the artistry and magnificence of their skill in case she is missing it.

“You should really just watch quietly,” she says to me. “Just take it all in.”

“I’m glad you only skated against them once,” I whisper, “I would feel bad not watching you on the practice ice if you were in their group.”

She scoots forward on her seat and I lean back. Taking it all in. Quietly.

Lynn and Logan begin their program. She looks beautiful in red. My daughter’s last free dance dress was red. Lynn and Logan skate beautifully, feeling the music, making the audience feel the music, “The Trouble with Love Is…”. My daughter’s last free dance was about love.

My daughter looks at me. “What is wrong with you?” She digs in her purse and hands me a Sniffs tissue.

“You told me to take it in,” I tell her.

“I also suggested you do it quietly, and not start…” she stops and then says, “Maybe you are right. Why don’t you go to the other rink and get ready for pairs and save this for the actual competition.”

I make my way down the steps and as I approach the rink corner, Charlie and Meryl do this sinewy arm toss, flip, slide, catch, change of position lift that defies the laws of gravity and believability. I turn to give her the “Did you see that” look but she is banking on the fact that we don’t look too much alike for people to make a connection, and ignoring me.

I get to the arena easily since it is a mere 100 feet instead of miles away, and watch the duo of fake-Zambonis clean the ice while a battalion of workers patch the ice in their wake.

I text my daughter: “Why do all the ice-patchers have on helmets?”

She texts back, “So they don’t have to hear their mothers?”

“Fresh! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” I text back.

“Yes.” She responds. “I do.”


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