I am not a young man any more, and as each day moves forward I hear more creaks and groans than I care to admit. Yet every so often I get the feeling that I'm still seventeen and I ache to do something incredibly stupid. And so far I've lived to talk about it.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to hop on my bike and run down to our neighborhood video store. I thought I should also stop at the park to check on my girls and let them know what I was doing. My wife had just bought them brand new skateboards and they were both there trying them out. Alone. Unsupervised. I thought it would probably be in everybody's best interest to at least stop by and see if they were doing all right.
When I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that our car was there. My wife had swung in on her way home from work. I also noticed that there was nobody on the sidewalks skateboarding, and that my wife and children were nowhere to be found. There were a couple of kids on one of the basketball courts shooting hoops and there was a girl and her dad playing catch just outside of the baseball diamond. The soccer fields were all full and there were some kids up on the monkey bars. As I looked closer I noticed that my wife was standing there watching them - the kids - on the monkey bars. And as wandered closer I recognized that they were my children and that one of them was getting ready to go down the slide. But what I couldn't quite wrap my head around was the idea that she was sitting on her skateboard. Or why she was sitting on her skateboard going down the slide. And then it hit me as I realized what was going on and I thought to myself - she's going to ruin those bearings when she hits the sand. I wonder how many times they've already done this?
As I walked up to the playground I could hear the girls laughing hysterically and my wife was saying, "Your Dad's going to kill me." And the girls burst out laughing even louder when they saw me standing right behind their mom.
My wife turned around and looked at me and said, "I told them they could do it just once, and that they had to be real careful."
Right...I thought to myself. As if by putting eighty pounds on four wheels on a metal surface with a sharp incline could be considered anything but careful. "Uh, huh." I quietly mumbled. While at the same time I was calculating my weight, the incline, and the metal surface. How would that be? And then I realized I'm 47. I've never been on a skateboard in my entire life. Let alone on a skateboard on a slide. That would probably be incredibly stupid. And then there's the bearings to think about. So I did the smartest thing I could do; I walked away. I told my wife I was going to the video store and that I'd see them later. But not a day goes by when I don't think about those damn skateboards. Even though I've dismissed the idea of going down the slide. That's a no-brainer. But every time I'm out in the garage and I see one of those boards, I actually contemplate getting on one. And then I run back in the house.