Quick tally of the last couple of days. Wednesday: Two kids, 3 1/2 hours. Four kids, 2 hours. One kid, 1 hour. Thursday: four kids, 2 1/2 hours. That's 26 kid-hours of enjoyment in the past two days alone. Kind of puts my 12 to 15 hours of preparatory work in perspective.
Next year I will look back on these last few rink posts and I will remember why I do it.
But first I'll buy a new liner, one without holes all over the place. The last week and a half's skating has made it clear that the kids will get enough enjoyment, exercise and fresh air to justify the expense several times over.