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The view outside

November 6, 2002

I was just past eleven and it had been over a year since my first surgery. Not only was I able to walk again, I was also able to finally ice-skate.

The temperatures had become cold enough to freeze a small pond nearby and my mum had agreed to take me there. I was excited not only because it would be my first time ice-skating outside, but also because I would be able to show off my skills to my mother. However, when we arrived, I headed straight outside to the pond but my mother did not. She remained in the car, reading.

At first I didn’t think much of her actions as I was sure she would come out later to watch my routine. She didn’t. Even though I skated haphazardly over the ripples on the pond and lost my footing more than once, I thought I was a better skater than any Olympic champion. I was disappointed that my mum never looked up to watch a dance I was sure that I would one day be famous for.

Ten years had passed and the memory of my mum sitting in the car, engrossed in her magazine and never once watching me, still stung – until I realised something.

My mother hated to drive – especially in ice and snow. My mother hated the cold – sitting in the car without heat made her freeze. My mother also didn’t like to read very much due to her lack of English reading skills, yet for over an hour she sat in the cold car, reading to keep busy, and never once complained.

Seeing a different side of that day changed the way I now tell that story. Instead of feeling like some neglected girl whose cruel mother never looked at her, I now feel so special that my mum did something that was uncomfortable for her, so that I would have the memory of skating outside.

Imagine how many other past life events could be changed if only we thought about them from a view outside ourselves.

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