Tonight was the last night of RVA on Ice’s (fifth?) season. My dad spent his last ten or so hours at the rink, maintaining the atmosphere and tending to the ice. Compared to what he has to do, my job is cake, but it has it’s difficulties, just like any other job. I really appreciate what he does for the place, everyone should. He does not always get to be the nice guy. Whenever patrons come to the box office window for a refund, we send them to my dad, who I usually describe as the short, white-haired man with glasses. He has to deal with unhappy guests. He has to be the bad guy most times and refuse refunds. My dad patrols the rink area, the tent, skate rental – everything to make sure the rink runs smoothly.
All I do is sit behind a glass window and sell tickets. But it’s all worth it to be able to semi-work along with my dad.
I would have liked to help close tonight and seen the remaining minutes of the rink in action until it finally closed for the winter. Then dad would have cut the ice, signed out and we’d both get in the car and decide on if we want to try Cook-Out or go to Burger King. We would always try to keep the total price under $10, but it never helped when he ordered two sandwiches, a large fry and Coke with no ice. Eating while driving is the norm for dinner on the road and sometimes I’d have to make a little napkin diaper for when he ordered a McRib at McDonalds.
We would listen to Howard Stern via Sirius FM, but he changes the station frequently, never settling for one program. I always get nervous when he does this, keeping my eyes alert on the road ahead of us. Sometimes after I’ve eaten, I’d recline the seat and snuggle myself in to a sleep and then when I opened my eyes, we would be home.
Dad and I would get inside, I’d lock the back door. We would both check on my mom and sister and the family cat. Dad would plop down by the computer and check email. I’d flop on my bed and play with my phone. Eventually we’d say good night to each other as I hear him climb the creaky stairs to his room. Sometimes he would start snoring.
I don’t think we will have many other times like these until next winter. I can’t think of another time when I’ll be asked to go on a Starbucks run for him and get a coffee with cream and a scone. Or when I look away from the computer I see him outside my window with his knowing and proud smile.
I remember back to when I was younger. My parents told me that I was never a problem or troublesome (and I knew that) but sometimes I’d say the wrong thing or be fresh and I’d get in trouble. At home, dad was the law enforcer while mom played the good cop. There would be many times where we would yell at each other and say stupid things, and now that I look back on it, I just wish I’d accepted my dad a little more. I can’t really express it correctly, but there would be times where I’d favor my mom over my dad. Maybe as I grew more mature I’d become more understanding and patient.
All I can do now is make the best of the years I have in front of me. Like my dad always says,”One day Mommy and I will be dead and buried and you’ll have to look out for your sister and take care of her.” Right now, little sister is at the ripe young stage of ‘tweendom. I’m going to make it my goal to have her enjoy every moment she has with our parents and to not be so temperamental.
Kids get mad at stupid things. One of those should never be their parents.