Fast forward 6 months.
Not only does our kid still love skateboarding, but now he lives it. It has become like air to him. When he's not on his board he is doing one of three things 1) watching skate videos, 2) reading skate magazines, and 3) practicing tricks with his finger skateboards on any and EVERY surface he can find. In short, the kid is hooked.
Oh, and he is really, really, really, really good at it. Like freaky good. Like, whoa how can he do what a lot of kids 4x his age can't do? Like novelty good.
I can't help but be mystified by the whole thing. Sometimes I feel like a am watching a documentary about some athlete, and they pan to their mother who tells you how from a very young age Johnny likes to do x, and how once he found x it was all he could think about... and now as an adult Johnny is a professional x. I used to think, oh, he's so good because his Dad was into it, so of course he does it. Or, it was because his parents couldn't do it so they spent their whole life living vicariously through their kids (see Tiger Woods, the William's sisters.) It never really crossed my mind that a kid, at such a young age, could find something that they are so passionate about, that they themselves are the driving force behind making a life doing what they love.
Now, I'm not saying my kid is going to be a professional skateboarder. Honestly, if I had my say this would be nothing more than a recreational hobby, equal to swimming... soccer.. etc. The thing that I'm learning is that I might not have a say. At four years old my kid already knows what he wants to do, and who am I to stand in the way. I don't mean "do" as a career, I mean "do" every second of every minute of every day. I love him more than anything in the world, and I'm learning that if he loves skateboarding more than anything in the world, than so do I.
So we support him. Really support him. We have continued his weekly lessons, purchased him the proper gear, my husband has started skating, we take him to NH to a park 2x every weekend (a 6 hour daily commitment) and honestly, I now feel like we too live and breathe skateboarding. I can now name a dozen professional skateboarders, every trick invented, and know more about the history of the sport than I care to admit. 6 months ago I knew nothing.
I guess that's my point. At some age your kids hopefully find their passion. Mine was probably on the earlier side, but whenever it happens, I think you just have to let them be who they want to be, and try to help them become that person in whatever way you can. I can't tell you how many people tell me, "he's going to hurt himself," or "skaters aren't ideally the kind of adult you want your kid to be." I've found that these things are mostly stereotypes (isn't almost everything?) and met some of the nicest kids and adults who love this sport. The unexpected bonus has been that since he's been doing this sport, he has learned to focus himself in a way that I thought wasn't possible. This has completely translated to every other area of his life. His behavior in school and at home has been amazing, and he no longer gets frustrated when faced with a challenge. I'm sure some of this has to do with growing up, but truthfully, I can really see a difference on weeks that he skates a lot and weeks that he doesn't. I think it's been there best thing that could have happened to our (sometimes) overly active child.
Who knows if this is something that he will continue in the future.He may wake up tomorrow and be totally over it, or even in a few years decide it's too much. If that time comes, I hope that we will again be as supportive, and whatever new thing he "lives for" will again become our new thing to live for. Of course, there is Baby Gray to consider too (or Gracie as we now lovingly call him) he might hate skateboarding with a burning passion, and love something entirely different. As I always say.... it's their world, and we are just living in it. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds.
For now, here are some shots of the LM doing what he does best.
Sk8 or die! ;)