Because it is June and because we live at the beach, we did what anyone in our position would do on a hot Tuesday afternoon. We went ice skating.
As Lucy explained to Studley on the way, "we're going ice skating because our house is too messy to have a play date at home." I'm hoping she said it because I'm always "augh! playdate! to your stations!" and not because she looked around and said to herself "there is no way I'm inviting a friend over."
So we show up at the rink to meet Giselle and Coppelia. I tell the nice man that we need some rentals, since the kids don't have skates and I'm pretty sure that my pair from the eighth grade were canned in a garage sale a decade or so ago. He hooks us up and waves away my wallet. I do not understand what he's up to right away, but figure it out before long. Hint: he's a pusher.
Lucy and I head gamely for the ice while Giselle follows along with Studley. I am chanting "brave for the kids, brave for the kids" inside my head as I clutch Lucy's hand. She is between me and the wall, with a ridiculously huge smile on her face. She is blissfully unaware that I am crushing her little hand.
Giselle, who is of course a graceful skater because she is good at everything, is following with Studley. Studley is having a fine time, tippity tapping his feet along the ice as she holds him up like an understuffed teddy bear. He will not stand up on his own because then she might let go. Studley may be many things, but stupid is not one of them.
Lucy makes her way around the rink with several adults and with little Coppelia. Coppelia is wearing a darling skating dress and carrying an American Girl doll which is also wearing a darling skating dress. Although Lucy is 100% fashionista, she fails to note this inequity (Lucy is wearing jeans, gloves, a fleece and a helmet).
When the rest of us have had enough (or, Studley has had enough and I feel it's important to validate his feelings of enoughness and also throw in the skates), Lucy is still at the edge of the rink - toying with going solo. I am not sure whether to tell her it's okay, or just watch and see if she goes. She puts a blade on the ice. She takes it off. On. Off. On. Off. And then she makes a heroic leap over the edge and inches her way around the end of the rink on her own steam.
Half way around she falls - splat! - but scrambles back to her feet before anyone really notices. We go meet her at the other side, where she emerges in a haze of euphoria. She begs for skating lessons. Oh what have we done.
On the way home the heavens open and we have another thunderstorm, at which point I remember that one of Lucy's friends is camping nearby for the week. I call the mom's cell phone and leave a message about our dryer being vacant and our livingroom being available. And then we pile inside, where I look around and yell "augh! playdate! to your stations!"