Daddy Talk: Skateboard Dreams
By Tim Krason
All parents dream that their children will one day become the neighborhood’s most daring adolescent skateboarders. At least that’s what you would think I’ve been dreaming by the looks of my kids over the past few weeks.
Like all good stories, this one starts with my wife looking at Netflix movies. We were planning a family movie night when she came across a film titled Camp Cool Kids about two brothers who attend summer camp where they face things like peer pressure, bullying, making friends, and other challenges from which great lessons can be learned.
But the seemingly inconsequential feature of the movie that stuck in our kids’ minds was that the older brother in the film is pretty good at riding a skateboard. The next day, our kids pulled out of storage two skateboards that we had acquired long ago but that hadn’t been used much before. I watched them scoot around in the street in front of the house for a few minutes, and I was surprised at how much they did NOT fall. Apparently kids can learn to balance on unstable surfaces far more quickly than grown-ups can.
The next weekend, on a trip to Tupelo to visit my parents, the boys insisted on bringing their skateboards, and I soon figured out why. They both remembered that the park near my parents’ house has a skateboard area, complete with ramps, rails, and a halfpipe. So my dad and I ended up spending a Sunday afternoon at the skate park talking with “real” teenage skateboarders who could do all the tricks. Even our three-year old, Lydia, found a preschool-sized skateboard somewhere and was asking me to pull her along the obstacles while she learned to balance.
My dad and I watched in horror as the teens gave my boys some tips on going up and down ramps. And we watched in horror again as my boys started launching themselves and skidding across the pavement. Even the teens winced in pain a couple times while observing my kids. One of the older skaters at the park started telling me that he tried to go pro several years back, had a sponsorship and everything. “Wow, what happened?” I asked. “Blew my knee out at a competition a month later. Never could compete again,” came the answer. I glanced over to my six-year old, who was doing a swan dive onto a scorching hot half pipe, leaving his board safely on the ground six feet away, and I wondered what I was getting my kids into.
Despite the dangers, it was hard for me not to enjoy watching my kids branch out into a new activity that they were excited about. You never know where you’ll find a passion. And, honestly, it looks like so much fun when they’re not crashing on the pavement that I’m now in the market for my own skateboard so I can join them out on the street.