This morning Sk8terdude and I picked up one of his friends and we took the drive - the long drive - back to 2nd Nature in Peekskill, reminding me why we need an indoor skatepark closer to home! It's 31°F and snow flurries are blowing on this blustery day, so I am thankful for somewhere warm to sit while they skate, but, SERIOUSLY, the distance is really getting to me.
I was glad to have Sk8terbuddy along for the ride. The boys are the same age and share a similar obsession with skateboarding, skateboarders, and skateboarding videos. They are equally determined to get sponsored (the ultimate prize for tween skateboarders everywhere) and their discussion in the car was amusing in its own mind-numbing way:
Sk8terdude: "Hey, did you see skater x do trick y at skatepark z?"
Sk8terbuddy: "Yeah! That was sick. Did you see skater a do trick b and skatepark c?"
Sk8terdude: "Yeah! That was cool."
Sk8terbuddy: "How much longer until we're there?"
This was repeated - ad nauseum - for most of the ride. But at one point the boys started talking about their own tricks, and I must admit I started paying a little more attention. What began as a fairly benign cataloguing of their recent accomplishments (hey, I landed the wall-ride - me, too) slowly started to sound like the competitive one-upmanship that frequently occurs between any two boys (can you backside/tailslide the quarter-pipe? - yeah, can you?) and quickly that deteriorated into the type of challenge (you should try this - yeah, you should try that) that, in my experience, often leads to someone getting hurt...and that someone is, more often than not, MY someone.
I tried to step in with some motherly advice.
"Boys, you know, today isn't a competition. The idea is to go have fun together at the skatepark. You're each going to learn different tricks at different times, and that's fine. You don't have to try something just because someone else says so...and you don't have to try anything you're not ready to do."
The disdainful silent response from the back seat was palpable.
So here we are, at 2nd Nature, again. I'm typing in the parent lounge. The boys are skating in the park. I'm afraid to look!