I received a submission from someone who doesn’t skate, but has watched the scene change from tall tees and shoes made of air bubbles to dad hats and soles that last a week, or less. My mother used to pack her car full of spotty boys, magazines, and our dog and drive us to whichever park had been chosen for that day’s shralp. We were never certain if the smell of sweaty teenage skater was worse than river wet dog, but she made sure the windows were all down before we got in. Although she may not understand the terms we use and how a banal curb can conjure audible excitement from grown men, she does understand the love and passion it takes to shovel snow from around some stairs just to ward off cabin fever. I’m very glad to know that, despite the countless emergency room trips and worn shoes, she doesn’t regret letting me ride this useless wooden toy. At least she always had a magazine to read in the bathroom.
So the conversation usually goes something like this:
“What’s your son doing these days?”
“Oh. Does that worry you?”
“No, should it?”
Well I got thinking and here’s a list of reasons why I’m not worried:
He’s an Athlete: He trains almost everyday. Sometimes several times a day.
He’s an Urban Planner: He has painstakingly researched every curb, rail, bench and set of stairs in the city. He has excellent ideas about how every one of them could be improved. Sometimes he makes the improvements.
He’s an Art Collector: They may look like a bunch of skateboards to you but his walls are really covered in priceless works. Some signed by very famous people.
He’s a Mathematician: He studies lines and angles. For hours. And then he studies them some more.
He’s a Butcher: He excels at tenderizing flesh. Knees and elbows are a particular specialty.
He’s a Fashion Designer: Or to be more accurate a fashion re-designer. Never comfortable with the look and feel of matching shoes he took considerable pride in customizing every pair I ever bought him. I have to admit I was quite disappointed when a sponsor recognized his exceptional talents and I no longer had the privilege of financing his supply. His vision of the alternative also extends to clothes. Some of his best creations have been inspired by butchery sessions.
He’s a Linguist: I am not certain what it’s called but he speaks a language I have never learned. Although I sometimes think it may be loosely based on English I am not convinced.
He’s a Magician: He performs several hundred tricks a day. Their secrets are never shared outside the chosen circle. I understand the instructions are passed down from generation to generation but only verbally and only in the above language.
He’s a Film Star: As a proud mother I am constantly overwhelmed by his prolific social media postings. I faithfully watch every clip. Often many times over. Occasionally I even figure out which one he is.
He’s a Bookkeeper: He has kept every skateboard book and magazine he has ever read. I should know. My shrine, I mean storage room, is full of them.
He’s a Builder: He and his friends skillfully converted my double garage into a mini ramp. I am reliably informed that parking indoors is drastically overrated.
He’s a Vocalist: He spends many hours practicing synchronized utterances with other skaters. The exact origins of these primitive-sounding tones are a bit of a mystery to me but I have come to realize that the decibel level is somehow directly proportional to the number of times the choir director unsuccessfully attempts a manoeuvre before perfecting it.
He’s a Film Critic: He can often be found analyzing documentary footage of skateboarding cultural events around the globe. This seems to happen more often during inclement weather. I assume this is because the damp plays havoc with vocal training. Actually I know this because he and the rest of the choir often combine vocal practice and film studies.
He’s a Diplomat: He has charmed his way out of more trespassing tickets than your kid has had hot dinners.
Oh and speaking of food…
He’s a Baker: I’m not quite sure when he finds the time but I’m positive he mentioned something about making a big batch of brownies last week. Four hundred and twenty if I remember correctly. Probably a fundraiser for the choir.
My kid skateboards. What does yours do?