Wednesday, February 19, 2014


As a teenager, my life was ice skating. From the first lesson I took, I was in love. My first coach remains a dear friend to this day. I went from learning to skate backwards in that first lesson to years of skating competitions, figure skating camp and a semester of boarding school at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid. My parents worked hard to give me the opportunity to skate. It was not a cheap sport, between lessons, ice time and equipment, but when I started skating I was happy and I felt confident, and successful. I know those qualities for a teenage girl are priceless.

My identity was tied into being a figure skater. There wasn't much else to me then and that was fine with me. I gave up the chance to go on trips with my parents in exchange for staying at my coach's house and skating. My brother lived in Japan at the time and I chose to opt out of the trip because I would miss too many days at the rink. That one trip might be my only regret. I hope to one day get to Japan, but instead my axel might be a bit better for it. Whenever we could go somewhere where there was a rink, I tagged along. There was a trip to Israel where we found the one and only rink so I could practice. My skates traveled with me everywhere.

When we came to see my dad's family in LA, I would skate at Culver City Ice Arena. I even had a coach I would take from there, as well as making some friends at the rink. Years later when I graduated college, and moved here I went back to the rink. I began to teach a few lessons there for a year or so. When a friend set me up with his friend, he decided a double date with he and his girlfriend would be fun to have at a skating rink. So my first date with "that" guy was at the Culver City ice rink. That guy is now my husband.

A few weeks ago he asked me if I had seen the news about the rink in the paper. After 52 years will close it's doors. I had already felt this sadness 5 years ago when I took him to see my old rink where I took my first lesson in NY. The rink was gone. The outside of the building was there and so was the sign but the ice had long melted. That loss was harder since my first ever lesson was there as well as the first one I ever taught. I just assumed though that I would have years to take my daughter to this rink. When I read the paper and saw why they were closing I felt more pissed than anything. The man who owns the building is practically doubling the rent on the rink managers. It is making it impossible for them to afford. There is also a pro-shop in the rink that is owned by a man named Hans. He has been there since I cam out here as a kid. I called this week to see what he will do and he said he will be out of business. He seemed shocked and upset about it. There were petitions and meetings but sadly this weekend will be the last skate for everyone.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

20 months and 5 and a half years

I looked at the last time I did a summary of what my kids were up to and its been too long. They were 5 months and 4 years so I think they are due for a more recent update.

My sweet boy, you are full-on toddler now. Your face lights up each morning when it is time to go get your sister. When you see her, you climb into her bed, and give her a big kiss. Anywhere she goes you will follow. When she takes gymnastics and you see her out on the floor, you climb the little gate to yell to her. You scream "Aya" (your name for her) until she looks at you and waves. You run now, fast too. Sometimes it looks like you are throwing each leg out to the side before leaping to your next step. You love to smell flowers and when you ask for water you say"Ahh" as if you've already taken a sip.

You call me "Mama" and occasionally through the day you will list off all of us. "Mama, Dadda, Aya"
We started a music class together because you love music so much. When a song comes on at home or in a store or restaurant you start dancing to the beat. You are a friendly little boy when you are in a well rested good mood you will say"hello" or "hiya" to people.  You have 12 teeth now -- 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom, then a big gap on either side leading back to 4 lonely molars. We try to FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa as much as we can, and you ask for "Ampa." You love showing them your toys and trucks so much that you have taken to grabbing the phone to "walk" them around. Sometimes they get dizzy but mostly the love it.

You are my sweet baby boy and I love you and your sister more than I could ever express in words. You are a Koala these days and wrap your arms around me tightly. I love it! You also bury your face in my hair and give me the best kisses. May you grow up healthy and strong and your sweetness only ripen!

My wonderful five and a half year old girl, You amaze me! You went off to the first day of Kindergarten a bit shaky but recovered from your nerves in lightning speed. You are thriving in school and love it so much. Every so often the goodbye in the morning is tricky, but if you could stay late everyday after school, you would. You have become good friends with a few sweet girls, and I am happy to see you enjoying your friends. You have a few 5th grade buddies and you love to run up to them whenever you see them on the playground. My friend calls you the mayor because you say hello to everyone. Can't imagine where you get that from. You are sweet, charming, funny, polite, and a pleasure to be with.

You are enjoying gymnastics more and more. You take it with a few school friends which is really fun. You sometimes plan to wear the same leotards so that you match during class. You love musicals and ask to be in one every time we see one. Maybe you can try that soon, even though that is your daddy's worst nightmare. You saw "Frozen" and loved the music so much it was played hundreds of times here and before long even daddy and your brother knew the words. You like games now which is so much fun for all of us. You are a good skater too and I enjoy getting to do that with you too. You are an incredible student at school so well behaved and so smart. You are in the top reading group and even one an academic prize of a free session of after school classes. You enjoy books and your bookshelf seems to get fuller and fuller by the week.

My girl, I am so lucky to have you. I am proud of you everyday. It feels you are getting older by the second and I can't steal enough time with you. You still like to cuddle and giggle with me everyday and I hope that never stops.  May you stay strong, confident and joyful as you are right now.