Skipping’s a skill you never forget, and it’s always fun

Published 2:49 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Last Sunday two little girls in beautiful dresses with big bows in their hair held hands as they skipped down the aisle with other girls and boys running ahead or behind them. I look forward to the time every Sunday at church when the children gather down front for a lesson. That scene makes me smile and thrills my heart.

Too, I always notice the skippers.

Yes, skippers, the ones who spring, jump or leap lightly, bubbling with energy. Did you skip from here to there when you were a child? I remember skipping home from school with my friends and skipping out to the car to go to a movie. I remember just skipping around full of joy, when something good happened. I recall skipping beside my mother, begging for permission to spend the night with a friend, or to go to a ball game or to get an ice cream. Then somewhere along the way, like most adults, I stopped skipping. Did you? I don’t think we do it consciously. We just stop.

My husband once related a skipping story in one of his sermons. It was about a minister who was pondering his next Sunday’s sermon as he walked around the neighborhood with his children. Although he was quite preoccupied, he became aware one of the children was asking him a question: “Daddy, can you skip?” They skipped past him and moved out way ahead of him. “Yes, I can skip,” he told them. As is the way of children, they challenged him. “Skip, Daddy! Show us you can skip. Show us.”

Well, of course Daddy could skip. But he had his position to consider. He was a prominent minister in the community. What if his neighbors saw a man of his position skipping? They might wonder if he had a loose screw. His children persisted and even taunted him, saying he couldn’t do it. Daddy looked around, saw none of the neighbors anywhere, and then he did it.

He skipped.

My husband read me that story one day immediately after our noon meal. While I stayed in the kitchen cleaning up, he went in the back yard. Then he checked to see if I was at the kitchen window. When he was sure I wasn’t, he did it.

He skipped. I heard his revelation from the pew the following Sunday in total surprise. He explained that he recently had eye surgery. He knew that if I caught him skipping of all things, I would have been aghast. He knew I would have rushed to the door, yelled at him to stop, reminded him of his age and told him that he only had two eyes and could damage them.

He admitted he skipped a little the next day. And the next. After church, he showed me how he skipped. “You never forget how to skip,” he said.

So I skipped.

He was right. It was fun.

Why did we ever stop skipping?





Nina Keenam is a former newspaper reporter.