19 April 2012
Scooters are the Thing right now. MGP's, customised with BMX grips. Tail whips and jumps and hops.
School holidays, and all my kids want to do is go to a Skate Park.
Henderson Skate Park was the destination today, where Dash practised tail whips and Miss Fab tried out her new Razor.
Scrag was right in there too, on his balance bike, showing me his tricks...
"Look mum can you do this...?" he says, twisting his handles round...
"And mum... MUM! Can you do THIS???" He flips his bike over and brooms the wheels really fast.
I choke back a giggle, and say with a straight face, "Nooooo, I can't!"
Scooting and skating and practising skills should be good wholesome fresh-air fun.
But there's a draw-back. The skate park is full of little try-hard wannabes, who are all trying to out-scoot and out-curse each other. The language coming out of some of these kids' mouths, as they zoom around looking oh-so-cool, would curl your granny's hair.
That's why I've hesitated to take them to the skate park before now.
But in spite of the fluent French some kids use, I learnt a few things.
There's a bunch of nice kids there too. Not posing, not swearing, just scooting and making friends. Like this kid in the blue hoodie, who even invited Dash to go ten-pin bowling with him and his dad afterwards.
Unlike this hood in the pink. (Yeah, pink is apparently "meanage" amongst scooterkids these days.*)
Anyway, Miss Fab came scooting up and told me a tale. That pink-clad-lad is not meanage, he's just mean. He starting using his fluent French on a little kid who got in his way. Started swearing and being mean and made the kid cry.
Miss Fab saw it all and her blood started to boil.
She marched up to this mean kid and started telling him off; never mind that he's way bigger than her.
"You shouldn't talk to little kids that way! Don't you swear at him and make him cry! You're setting a bad example!" she told him.
My girl is FIERCE. She was completely unafraid to scold this boy and put him in his place.
Then she found the little boy's mother and told her what happened.
My girl is KIND.
It's not the first time Miss fab has jumped in on behalf of kids getting picked on. I can totally imagine her as a lawyer or an aid worker in later life. New Zealand's answer to Bob Geldof.
Meanwhile Dash keeps working on his tail whips. Scrag keeps doing his tricks.
We also came across a different kind of teenager at the Skate park. Not the big-mouthed show-off get-outta-my-way type. There was a boy there who really stood out to us all.
A teenager on an orange MGP.
This boy stopped on several occasions to help younger kids who tripped or fell. He didn't use foul language. If he got in someone's way he said, "Sorry about that." And he joined Miss fab in helping the kid who was getting picked on.
In the car on the way home, we talked about what we'd seen and learnt at the Skate Park. My kids know that bad language is not acceptable, or any kind of meanness.
Miss fab told her brothers her story. They all shared observations about the nice kids vs. the foul-mouthed kids.
We compared notes and discovered that the boy on the orange MGP had caught all of our attention.
Doing his thing. Enjoying himself. But not needing to show off or talk dirty like the others.
"That's the kind of teenager I want you kids to be," I told my offspring.
"Doesn't need to swear to impress other people; just doing his thing but he's a nice guy..."
"Kind..." said Miss fab.
"Not a show-off," said Dash.
Yeah, I think they got it.
*meanage= "cool" in kidspeak