Saturday, December 4, 2010
SUZI: Skateboard Psychology
A few weeks ago, I was taking a walk with Cooper. I saw something that has stuck in my head. It was our normal route; we were weaving our way through the streets near our house. We passed a group of probably middle school aged kids. From the way they were interacting, I could tell that this group gathered on this street regularly. "Where have you been? I beat you walking here today and you're on your bike," I heard one of the kids mouth to another. There was a comfort amongst the group, yet a lot of one-ups-man-ship was going on.
I passed them and when I was a few houses down, I saw another boy, seemingly the same age, exit his house. He jumped on his skateboard and headed in the opposite direction of the group. There was no glance toward the group. No acknowledgment from him or them. He clearly wasn't a part of the group. A few houses down, he hit a bump and tumbled off his skateboard. I mean, he rolled and then smacked the ground. His skateboard went flying across the street where I would be in a just a few seconds. What do I do? The kid immediately got up, but it had to hurt and he was probably embarrassed. I quickly debated whether I should say anything. I didn't want him to think he was invisible, but did he really want some "old" lady with a baby checking on him? I only had a moment to figure out what to do. When he reached my side of the street to retrieve his skateboard, I simply said, "You ok?" He muttered a "yeah" and then headed on his way.
I had several things running through my mind after seeing this incident:
1. I'm so thankful that I'm not in middle school anymore. I know there are people who would give anything to relive their youth. My word...I am not one of them. Once was enough.
2. Cooper is going to be in middle school one day. Is he going to be ok? And who will his friends be? And will people treat him well? And how can we make sure he gets a good education? And blah, blah, blah. I could actually feel my heart beating faster at the thought of it all. I comforted myself in knowing that for now my sweet baby boys loves his parents best of all and decided to ignore all irrational fears about the future.
3. Why couldn't the boy on the skateboard be friends with "The Group?" Why did we all have these stupid delinations about who we're friends with and who we're not? Why do these things have to be such a big deal when you're young and do we actually ever outgrow these barriers that keep us from connecting with people who aren't like us? Then I decided that that sounded like I was living in a rose-colored world.
We headed home, and I still wasn't quite sure what to think of what I had just seen. I still don't. Maybe the lesson is just that we should all be nice to each other.