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.