In spite of my true appreciation for both of my kids enjoyment of skating, and a clear recognition of the many ways it is truly good medicine for them, (building gross motor skills, encouraging balance and center, athletic confidence, social navigation, etc…) I must admit that the skatepark is one of my very LEAST favorite places to go, as a mother. The grating sounds of the wheels on the pavement, the heat reflecting off the concrete, the overtly male-teenage-rebellion vibe, the common presence of our local small-town cops coming through to ticket the kids who aren’t wearing helmets~ the overall experience there is just not one I authentically enjoy, you know? I do, of course, in spite of my visceral aversion, dutifully take the children to practice their beloved hobby sometimes… but I’m happily grateful to let Chris, Arayla and Ezra’s Papa, take on the majority of the skatepark visits.
So, as we drove, Ezra was telling me all about his newest accomplishments at the skatepark, with a lot of exuberant joy and pride. He was so adorable, and I was absolute proud-Mama-ears, enthusiastically listening and commending him on all that he is learning and what fun it sounds like he is having. And then, suddenly, he was quiet for a minute, thinking, and then spoke, carefully: “Mama~ you love that I LOVE to skate, but you don’t really love skateboarding yourself, right?” I caught his gaze in the rearview mirror. He continued: “You’re just not really a skateboarder-mom, right? I think you love ME, so you care about my skateboarding. But you don’t really like the skatepark too much, right?”
He was so thoughtful, so kind in his tone, really trying to understand this dichotomy: his love, my love for him, and my lack of love for what he loves. I took a deep breath in, and replied: “You’re absolutely right, Love. I love YOU, and I love that you love to skate, and I think you are an amazing skater, and I’m glad you’re learning so much… and it’s true, I don’t really like to go to the skatepark.” He nodded, assessing this, his inner knowing confirmed. And then, sighing deeply, he said with such sweet, gracious forgiveness: “That’s ok, Mom. There’s a lot of other things you DO love! Like ceremony, right? You’re a ceremony-mom, and you’re a hotsprings-mom, and you’re a healing-hearts-of-people-mom, and you’re a dancing-mom and you’re a writer-mom, right? You love a lot of things, just not skateparks really, and that's ok." He breathed deeply, and looked out the window.
I felt moved to tears by his kind understanding and astonishing maturity, in the face of what must have been at least a slight feeling of grief inside him about me not loving so deeply what HE loves. All I could say in response was: “Thank you my Love for knowing me so well.” And then he said, his little eyes sparkling brightly and his big hands moving in big motions out from his chest: “When I’m bigger, Mom? Like maybe when I’m a teenager or a man? I think I’m gonna be a ceremony-guy too, and a healer-guy too! I think I love those things too, healing with my hands and my heart too, just like you!” I laughed at his powerful growing sense of himself, and said: “Oh yes, Ezra, I see that in you. Anything your heart calls you to, you will do with such power and beauty.” He nodded in clear agreement: “Yes, and right NOW, my heart calls me to skateboarding! And to being a swimming boy. And to wrestling. And to playing a lot.” I laughed again, adoring him: “Yes, yes. You are learning all about being in your body right now, aren't you.” I watched his eyes grow wide in the rearview mirror as he looked down at his own body. He said, “I sure am getting big now! Look at my big, big feet, even, or my hands!” I giggled: “You are SO BIG now, it’s true. And you are only getting bigger!" He smiled, looking out his window in imagination towards the future: “Someday, Mom? I’m going to be a really big guy. Like HUGE, Mom.”
I nodded: “I know, Baby, I know you are.” <3