Finding My Mother’s Skates

Photo: Lauren Hagerstrom

Not long ago I discovered my mother’s ice skates hidden behind sweaters in my closet. It was a sentimental moment for me that brought me back to the time I learned how to skate – with these very skates. My mother grew up in The Bronx, a native New Yorker. She remembers owning these skates in her early 20’s and taking them to Wollman Rink in the heart of Central Park. I remember that I was also in my early 20’s when I tried them on for the first time. I remember wrapping my ankles in heavy socks to keep myself from wobbling (I think someone had recommended that), and then experimenting as I tried to stand up without falling. There was, of course, much falling, but I will never forget the sheer joy of finally getting myself up on the ice. Sheer. Joy. I remember skating around and around and around the rink for what seemed like hours.

Shoes, or in this case – skates – carry memories. They tell the story of our lives. Finding my mother’s skates, something that she had worn and loved, gave my story more meaning. I am waiting for it to warm up, but I am ready to bring out my mother’s skates once again!

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