Friday, December 12, 2003

I'm gonna get around to some of the objectivist and libertarian stuff soon, but an interesting thing happened today. I've observed the phenomenon before but a particular event brought it into sharp focus today.

I went over to the Ice Palace in Westminster for a little skate. There weren't very many people skating, mostly kids.

The thing that hit me was that there was a little kid, fully decked out in his pint-sized Detroit Red Wings hockey outfit (sans hockey stick). He was skating very well for a tyke (about five years old). The odd thing: his father, probably just a bit under 30 years of age, was off the ice, often standing in the open doorway shouting instructions to the lad.

My question: why the hell is this dolt standing in the doorway, why isn't he in skates, on the ice, playing with his son? Why is this boy out there by himself while Dad is shivering on the sidelines?

When Jim, my elder son, was about that age, we started skating. I'd skated some as a kid, but I was never very interested nor very good at it. We went to a LA Kings game and somehow we translated that into going skating ourselves. It never occurred to me to put skates on Jim and shove him out on the ice. We both put skates on and learned (relearned, in my case) it together.
We skated regularly for a couple of years and got pretty good. Jim tried hockey, and decided he didn't really like it. I tried it, and decided that I did. Jim just skated in public sessions after that--I think he still does, but not regularly. I played amateur hockey for nearly fifteen years, and skate public sessions pretty regularly to this day.

To the father of that young boy: what the hell is wrong with you? You're missing a great opportunity. Get some skates on and get yourself on the ice--with your son!

Col. Hogan