by Drew Martin
Earlier tonight my six-year-old son and I rode our adult-kid tandem bike to a recreation area. Next to a soccer field and the town swimming lake is a concrete-surfaced, open-air rink where kids may put on their roller blades and play hockey. More often than not the rink is filled with skateboard ramps and rails as well as with all the teens showing off their skills.
My son is learning to ride a skateboard now and is pretty good. The problem is it is a really sensitive crowd. Unlike rollerblades, which have a wider, less-cool audience, skateboarding is pretty much locked down to too-cool-for-school teenagers, for the most part guys, which is really awkward because they are trying so hard to be cool, and they are actually doing really dangerous and ballsy tricks but at the same time they still live at home, which is totally uncool. This situation creates tension when their status is jeopardized by the introduction of a dad and his son.
Tonight the rink was buzzing with about twenty kids, so when we entered, we scooted over to the side and I sat on my board while I watched my son practice his moves. When it came time to leave at sunset, I hopped on my board and coasted over to him. One of the kids was trying to do a move and messed up. I was somewhat nearby and I think he was a little embarrassed and wanted to blame the mistake on me so he muttered, "thanks dad" as I went by. It was such a funny moment because I have not been called dad as an insult in my 15+ years as a parent.
I was thinking of creating this blood-font DAD shirt I just designed to wear when I return to the rink. I was also thinking of bringing a boombox and blasting Miley Cyrus to watch them scatter like roaches. My wife suggested the soundtrack for The Sound of Music.