01/31/2007 - Fortunately, we are able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as we managed to survive yet another birthday party this weekend. As the boys get older, we find ourselves taking part in parties that are truly giving me a stomach ulcer.
This one took place at a local skate park — not just a skating rink where the children skate in circles with rollerblades or regular roller-skates on their lovely, little feet, but rather, in a skate park with multiple ramps, a half-pipe, grind rails, and etc.
Not only were there children with roller blades and skates, but also, skateboards, bicycles, and scooters.
During the party, children were going in every direction on skateboards, bikes, skates, and on foot. They were dodging each other left and right. Several times, I had to literally put my foot down to stop the situation – meaning I stopped the little critter from rolling into my knee cap by putting my foot out and stopping his board!
At one point, they abandoned the wheels and took to their heels to run the half-pipe. Back and forth, up and down they ran, each attempting to get to the top of the half-pipe.
When one made it to the top, they would lend a hand to help the others up – by literally leaning over the edge and pulling the next child up. I kept expecting one of them to take a head-first dive down the half-pipe. To my surprise, it did not happen.
Mind you, they were all wearing helmets during their time in the skate park. In addition, the owners of the skate park require all participating skaters to sign a liability waiver upon entry in order to access the park.
Yes, it is that serious. I will say that regardless of the fact that the skate park has the families sign a liability waiver, in my opinion, they would still be liable for injuries caused by equipment in ill repair, which there was some equipment in just such a state. (Sorry, but my personality will not let me leave this out.)
The equipment had a few edges and pieces that needed to be repaired that the 'regulars' just moved around to 'fix' as if they were building their own ramps in their driveway.
This, to me, is negligible. Regardless, the children loved the party, none of them were seriously injured, and only a few came out with minor bruises.
This particular skate park serves as a haven to children of all ages who wish to practice their skill. Some of the children were phenomenal.
One of the young girls was jumping her skateboard higher than any of the older boys. She tried to maintain couth by not letting the others see how proud she was that she could accomplish such a feat. However, she beamed with pride. I had to wonder how many times she had fallen down in order to learn to jump that high on a board with wheels screwed to the bottom of it. This girl had obviously overcome the battle of the board to jump like that because, as we know, every great skill takes much practice to perfect.
Regardless of what we are attempting to accomplish, whether it be successfully raising strong, healthy, intelligent children to accomplishing physical feats such as skateboarding, we must practice, and when we fall, which we will, we must get back up and try again. We are lucky enough to live in a country where second chances are plentiful. As such, we should take advantage of those opportunities and grab that board and soar!