Last month, in between soccer and softball, and while ready to quit piano, I asked my daughter what she was going to do to fill her time (beyond reading or daydreaming). I wanted her to come up with one activity, whether it be martial arts or art, fencing or sewing, I didn’t care, I just wanted it to be something outside of herself and our home. She balked and probably yelled some too, arguing that she just wants to read, which is great, but one afternoon out of the week, she could try something else. Though not asked, her brother took up basketball and skateboarding, and though my daughter wanted no part of either, she changed her mind on a quick visit to Society skate shop in San Carlos. A cute monster on the deck of a skateboard was enough to lure my daughter into skateboarding.
That was over a month ago, and in that time, my timid, nervous of movement daughter has become something of a skateboarder. When we first went to Society’s skate class at Generations skate park, also in San Carlos (not far from Carlmont High School), she was nervous. She was worried about her lack of experience, especially at age nine, and that she may be the only girl. She was the only girl, and she was grouped in with the newbies, including her five year old brother, but somehow neither of those things mattered. She loved skateboarding class. What I said to reassure her was true: the people running the class love skateboarding and they want the kids to love it too. Each instructor we’ve encountered at both a holiday camp and the weekly class, have been fabulous. They are friendly, generous with high fives, and they help to build confidence and skills.
After over a month, my daughter is still the only girl and is often one of the least brave, but she still loves it. The instructors will help her set up to drop in, and instruct her how to shift her weight and lean with her shoulder, but they’ll hold onto her hand as she does it, then let go once she’s going down the ramp. Each week, her confidence grows and she gets a little closer to doing it on her on. Her development has been great to watch.
My son loves the class too, which is little surprise, as he’s the kid who skates full speed ahead down a ramp and into the wall, then laughs.
Both kids are asking for a skate ramp at home, and while I once thought it was crazy, our backyard may be home to a half-pipe this summer, just as soon as the kids can drop in without hand-holding.