Well, that wasn’t a total disaster. Goodness, when most family members say they want to find a function room in Melbourne with an ice skating rink downstairs, it’s usually pretty straightforward. People would like to have a few drinks, eat some peanuts and finger-food, then go downstairs to skate the night away. Some people wouldn’t be so good at it- let’s be honest, most people- but that’d be part of the fun of the whole party. Fun, good times, laughter, etc.
Then Wendy said she wanted to go ice skating for her 21st, and I was like…what? Did she know that ice-skating wasn’t just a euphemism for sliding around on a highly-polished floor? Like, it involves actual ice, and you have to wrap up a bit because it gets cold. Because of all the ice. Nope, she said that her therapy sessions had prepared her for it, and this was the final step in her program of overcoming her cryophobia.
I respected her wishes, but of course put in some escape routes anyway. The function room was kept really warm, there was a parka with hot chocolate standing by just outside the rink and we were all kept on high alert for any signs of panic. I know, super overprotective brother, but I think it’s what she wanted. Maybe having all of it there but just out of sight really helped. Wendy was nervous at first, and when she got out on the ice she looked like she was about to be sick. It wasn’t the canapes, I swear. But we had an ice skating instructor who was brilliant with her, coaxing her through the basic moves along with the group, making sure she didn’t fall. Pretty soon she loosened up, and stayed out there on the ice for half an hour. I think she was glad to get back to the function room upstairs, but if you knew Wendy, you’d know how incredible this is. And sure enough, she now has this new lease on life. Didn’t even know she had it in her!