My youngest son, now eleven years old, decided he needed to teach me to ripstick yesterday. He’s brought this up before but I have successfully navigated my way away from this terrifying prospect. Not possible yesterday. He was committed. If you’re not familiar with ripsticking (is that a proper verb?), it’s somewhat like skateboarding but way more difficult. You ride on a disjointed kind of skateboard by wiggling your hips (or so my son instructed me), or moving your back leg (your power leg, he calls it), or heading downhill (you’ll never catch me doing that!).
Kai brought me outside my condo, demonstrated how easy it really is, gave me an articulate lesson and inspiring pep talk, then told me to get on. Oh no. Here’s Kai instructing me first.
He’s adorable, hey? Then he ordered me to try it, completely overestimating my ability to do it. He took this short video–short because, well, you know why.
Clearly, I needed some further instruction and inspiration. Kai was there with both!
Finally, after lots of practice and neighbors laughing at me (and praying for my safety), I managed a very novice ride. Enough for my boy to be awfully proud of me, though.
Kai’s pride and enthusiasm made the entire experience worth every minute. He was so happy afterwards, and talked about it all evening. He’s convinced I can do it now with just more practice. Oh boy!
This reminded me of how great our kids feel when they become the teacher and we the student. He seemed to feel empowered and happy all day. Made this dad pretty happy to see him that way and to know I had a part in creating that by following along, swallowing my ego, and just letting the experience unfold.
To read more from Keith, take a look at his book: