This year Hayley wanted to go ice skating for our Festibond date. Which was great, because I wanted to go, too.
Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Portland Ice Arena we discovered that it’s a cash-only operation and I only had $2. We walked down the hill to a credit union with a drive-up-only ATM. So we walked a bit further and found an ATM that would dispense the cash we needed. It was a chilly walk that took time away from skating, but it was nice being together. I gave Hayley a piggy-back and shoulder ride much of the way, which she enjoyed.
The guy in front of me to rent skates got the last pair of men’s hockey skates in my size, so I was given figure skates. I swallowed my pride and laced them up before lacing up Hayley’s skates.
Hayley held my hand as we made countless left turns around the ice. It felt a bit like a NASCAR race. Hayley was uneasy on her skates, but I held her up each time she lost her balance. We talked about me playing hockey as a kid, how the lines are painted under the ice, how the hockey net is secured to the ice, and wondered how much advertisers pay for ad spots on the rink walls.
After about forty minutes Hayley asked to leave the ice. Her rental skates had rubbed the skin on her ankle bone raw. I helped her off the ice and out of her skates, then carried her to the car.
For lunch we ate at On The Border in South Portland, since Margaritas was closed. Hayley ordered a taco, which she realized after a few bites was too spicy, so I ordered her a cheese quesadilla. The margarita and guacamole were wicked delish.
Hayley and I played tic-tac-toe on her kid’s menu. Our conversation was deep and meaningful; we talked about her relationships with her sisters, how she likes homeschooling and what activities she might like to pursue in the next year. It was great to get to know my youngest daughter in a way that might not happen except for our exclusive time together.
Hayley ordered a sundae from Sarah, our waitress, which she enjoyed. Then we drove home.
Festibond dates are a special time to be together and get to know each other in an intimate way that isn’t really possible during the rigors of daily living. Hayley and I had a great time on our date. We hugged, held hands, talked, laughed and told each other many ties how much we love each other. Hayley is an amazing person, and I’m proud to be her dad.