I Missed Out On All The Fun For 30 Years

December of 1975 was a Hanukkah of OP Shorts for my bother, tube socks for both of us, and bright plastic skateboards from Mr. Johnny’s toys. Mine was Green and vaguley translucent, it was pointy at both ends and impossibly narrow. My brother and I sat on them and rolled from one end of the tiny living room to the other.

My brother later stood up on his.

A few years after that California had a drought and water rationing went into effect. No one was allowed to water their lawns and swimming pools were drained. The boys of Manhattan Beach seized the opportunity and turned empty swimming pools into skating paradise. I watched the teenage boys defy gravity, destroy the coping of their parent’s pools and delight in “catching air”.

Years later, dates would consist of rollerskating down the strand while a boyfriend rode a skateboard next to me, or behind me. Skating was the culture of my childhood.

A few weeks ago I took the kids to visit Tony Hawk’s offices, while we were there I bought the kids new skateboard decks. I brought my son to my favorite surf and skate shop to get trucks, wheels and bearings for his new deck and then we found an empty parking lot to skate in.

Alexander is not a fearless child. He strapped on his helmet, grabbed his board, and promptly sat down on it. Yes, sat. Jane was not in the mood to join us, as she’s been experimenting with being a little moody lately, so I did what any reasonable woman would do. I took Jane’s board and joined my son. At first I was a little wobbly, and I had to jump off a few times to avoid disaster. Then I got the hang of it.

Within ten minutes Alexander and I were chasing each other around the parking lot, laughing like crazy and trying to lean into some turns. We crashed around a little but eventually tackled a (pretty small) ramp. Watching my son’s face turn from worry to delight took my breath away. Then skating took my breath away, literally. We shot around that parking lot for close to three hours, inventing chase games and building up speed. My legs and abs are sore, my shoes are ruined and I am still delighted.

Yesterday I took a skateboard to the  grocery store.

I know, once again, I’m that weird mom.

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Comments 15

  1. In 1979 my cousin triple dog dared me to skate down the hill in front of our grandparent’s house. I was flying fearlessly until I saw the two lanes of traffic whizzing by at the end of the hill. Jumped off the board and rolled for yards. Ended up having brush burns from my scalp to ankles and, more painfully, being grounded from watching the Muppet’s special on tv. My cousin, of course, skated away unharmed and ungrounded.

    In a fit of rage I gave away my skateboard and vowed never to skate again.

    I’m gonna get a skateboard and be a weird mom too. I luuuuved your post.

    1. Post
      Author

      Lisa, everyone knows you can’t just walk away from a double dog dare. I’m really sad that your parents didn’t understand that. ;) I can’t wait for you to join me in the weridness… FYI my butt is sore too, which means it might be lifting… which is joyful.

  2. Sounds like you had a blast. I wonder about the kinds of adventures I will have like this, and which ones we will have that will help me conquer *MY* fears.

    But if she ever wants to go skydiving, I am totally *out*.

  3. My parents wouldn’t let me have a skateboard. Too many friends of mine had serious dental work or assorted broken bones courtesy of their time on the board.

    Instead I took up practicing to be a stuntman. We jumped off the roof into swimming pools, yards and all sorts of other areas. Not to mention how we would ride our bikes down a hill and jump off at the last moment.

    I miss being indestructible.

  4. Not weird, I think it’s awesome you can do things like this. Hopefully, your kids will see it that way too. I haven’t been on a skateboard in forever. Where I gre up in NJ, skateboarding wasn’t really a popular thing ie; no parks, ramps etc. Sure someone might build a rickety ramp out of some plywood and bricks or something but, it wasn’t very often. Skateboarding consisted of finding big hills to roll down, without killing yourself.

  5. Good on you for having fun with your kids!

    Oh and I have a great picture of my GRANDMA roller skating with us when we were little…not weird, just a ROCKIN’ Granny! :)

  6. Pingback: Did George Takei Just Turn Into a Cyberbully? — Jessica Gottlieb

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