And Down He Goes!
Thank god the kid's slam wasn't as catastrophic as the one in the picture. He was able to get up and skate it off. (I'm not sure if he was more angry about hitting the deck or more angry at me for making him get back on the board when he got up.) Still, he was not amused in the least. We'd had our lessons—he always goes first, and then I bat cleanup. I, of course, fell while in the pool . . . again. I don't know if the kid fell during his lesson. He tends to be on the skittish side, so he's overly cautious and just plain fearful. I know Tuma had to give him a lecture about falls, about how you will fall when skateboarding, about how they won't all be bad, but some will and you just have to keep on keepin' on when that happens.
Once we were done, I was ready to go. There was more skating to be done later in the day at a park that is much less frenetic. The child, though, wanted to stay and skate. I managed to take two more tumbles during that part of our session. At one point, we split up. I could see his little (okay, big) head and that was all. At one point, I saw someone get too close to him. Well, it wouldn't have been too close to the rest of us. For a beginning skater, it was too close for comfort. I guess there was some confusion about who should go. I realized I was no longer seeing that big head. When I got over to where he was, he was on the ground in tears. The guy who'd made him nervous by getting too close was there first. I was there next. We both were telling him to get up. I needed to determine if something was broken. My kid didn't want to budge. He was perfectly happy lying on the ground in a puddle of tears. And I get that. My kid is no daredevil. He's not used to hitting the ground with some force.
In the end, I made him get up. I also made him, after much stern coaxing, get back on his board. Only then would I let him leave the skatepark. We saw one of my friends after we left. The kid was sulking. She, a skater, asked him what happened. Then she explained to him, with just the right amount of drama in her voice, that he'd gotten his first hipper, told him she knew it hurt and generally made him know that she felt his pain. Of course, it wasn't until the mention of a stop at Randy's Donuts, while we were in the car, that the person in the backseat perked up and stopped feeling sorry for himself.
There were two surprises yesterday. First, Soul Brother #2 stated that he may want to surf if only because the falls off the surfboard aren't as painful of those off of a skateboard. ("What was that? Did he once again mention the possibility of wanting to surf? Is this really my child talking?") Second, I was to meet some friends later in the day at a skatepark in Orange County. The kid made it clear he was coming with me. And, much to my surprise, we were there for hours. He is still learning to skate. He still feels self-conscious about his skills, but he charges in his own inimitable way. That slam didn't stop him from hitting another skatepark. He did what he was comfortable doing. I think he learned quite a bit from watching others. He's still got a way to go. I'm proud of him though. He's not been pushed into skating and he's not being pushed to continue. (I constantly ask if he still wants to skate.)
If he's still skating a few years from now, he's going to shred. And I'll be happy to drop him off at the skatepark to let him do his thing without his mom there for support (as I'm sure he will neither want it nor need it by that time).