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Making memories with your kids that match yours

I feel like I'm always telling my kids things like "I used to do that when I was a little girl." or "I used to love that when I was little." I like when my kids like what I used to like.

I'm not alone. When my 5-year-old recently announced that she wanted to play guitar, my husband began jumping for joy - in a cool musician kind of way. It's a great way to make memories while thinking about our past. Win-win.

So we do things for our kids. Like, buy them a guitar. We do it for them. Or maybe for ourselves. Maybe a combination of both.

For Jeff Tamsen, putting a rink in the back of his East Amherst home is like re-living his childhood. A blast from the past. "I had one as a kid, so there are lots of memories," he said.

Jeff Tamsen says it's just like when he was a boy.
(Photo Courtesy: Jeff Tamsen)

"I grew up in Kenmore and remember staying out all day. It was freezing cold and I would still be out there. When dinner was ready, I would opt out and continue skating. It was great. My dad and I built it together. It was great."

Tamsen is now hoping to build wonderful memories with his kids, Jenna, 9 and James, 4, who is obsessed with all things hockey. This is the second year for the rink, but thanks to Mother Nature, the first was a flop.

This year, things on the ice are going quite smoothly. Tamsen started just after Thanksgiving. First, the boards went up, then the plastic to fill the 100 foot by 40 foot area. After that, pray for rain and bring out the hose.

He uses a tool called a finisher which hooks up to the hose - a super-tiny zamboni. It's like skating on glass. The next step is hoping for frigid temps. But still, the work is far from over.

It's crucial to keep the rink in top form and that means watering it a few times a day and night. For Tamsen, that means plenty of 2 a.m. soakings.

Add to that a hefty water bill, and the thousand or so dollars for the kit to build the rink, and it's quite a project. But, Tamsen said it is well worth it. "Oh my gosh, it is absolutely worth it. It's about bonding. Not to mention we love the sport, we are a hockey town after all," he said.

And we are parents who like when our kids like what we used to like.

It's smooth sailing for the Tamsen kids.
(Photo Courtesy: Jeff Tamsen)

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