Saturday, July 21, 2012

My wild child

I'm feeling a special kinship to Tony Hawk's mom and John and Stasi Eldredge tonight.

A $4 set of knee & elbow pads found in a thrift store led to the purchase of an $11 skateboard at Target.

I had skateboards growing up, and have often wanted my kids to have them...  But, frankly, I didn't want to watch them break their wrists.  When they found the pads, Zach mumbled, "But I know you'd never let us have a skateboard."

To which I shrugged my shoulder and replied, "Why not?"  After all, I had skateboards and never got hurt.

My stunned first born paused and said, "But, don't you have to ask Dad?  I'm sure he'd want to discuss this with you first."

At that, the indignant feminist hiding deep inside of me tossed the pads into the cart and promised a skateboard.  Tonight.

As we shopped for a skateboard, I told them we should probably hit the bubble wrap aisle too.  My witty kids laughed, and then argued through the store over whose turn it was to carry it.  The moment it was paid for, they started ripping the packaging off.

When we got home, Zach had to change into his professional skateboarder uniform.  Tony Hawk shorts and his skater shoes.  Clothes have always mattered to Zach.

When he first approached getting on the board, he confessed to being scared.  "It's looks hard to balance.  And how do I get started?  How do I stop?"  After a quick tutorial - with Mom demonstrating in flip flops, using Zach as my spotter - he figured that if Mom could do it, he could do it.  And with Mom holding his hands for the first 30 seconds or so, he was off.

In no time at all, he was trying to control what direction he was heading.  Flipping it here and there...  Gaining confidence and speed.  Checking the scratches on the bottom after every stop.  You know, scratches are a sign of a board well-used!

Next thing I know, he's saying things like, "WORD!" and "Now, that's how it's done!"  He was a boy, excited about a new, thrilling, somewhat dangerous accomplishment. 

Zach is often so subdued that it's easy to forget that he was designed by God to be wild at heart.  But tonight, the wildness shone...  The wildness that is too often hidden under his skeptical, analytical, careful, perfectionist tendencies.  The wildness that is too often squashed by a nervous parent who doesn't want him to get hurt.

He had a blast tonight.  He went to bed with his chest puffed up and a huge smile on his face.  He was so proud.  So accomplished.

I am so glad my guys found that $4 bag of pads buried in the sports equipment bin at the thrift store.  And so glad that I didn't get in the way of him taking a walk on the wild side.

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