21 November 2012

Ups and downs

2 months since my last post and well...there has been a lot of ups and downs, so we'll start with the:

Zak with his board at Ipanema Beach

After a few friends and family members pushed me to send Zak's video to the Little Legends section of the Today show on Channel 9, I finally put together and sent a 60 second video that got put on air a couple of weeks later. I'm still waiting to get a copy of the program on DVD to share with you on this blog. (Can you believe Channel 9 not only omitted to tell me the day they would broadcast Zak's video but is also requesting $60 payment to have a copy of it on DVD?) I'm a sucker so I'm paying for it but I'm still fuming! I can't believe he was on tv and we didn't get to see it or ask anyone to record it for us. Anyway it will be nice to have it for him when he is older.

Here is a copy of what I sent, short and sweet:


Also we went to Brazil for a 3-week holiday to see my family and friends and get Zak acquainted with the country where everyone speaks the weird language he's been learning since birth. I had no idea, having not been there in 5 years what a perfect spot Rio is for anyone who enjoys cruising the city on a longboard. There are longboards e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, everyone and their dog owns one and they are hugely long and have massive thick wheels to allow for the crappy sidewalk conditions and holes everywhere. There are even stands by the beach that can rent skateboards by the hour. Heaven!

Zak at Lagoa's skatepark, or next to, the skatepark was too
full that afternoon, so we moved to the tennis court instead
Zak had a well deserved break from his daily skateboarding routine in Sydney and only got to skateboard up to twice a week, mostly on the cycle-path by Ipanema beach, and a couple of times down at the Lagoa Skatepark which is a perfect spot for his skill set with plenty of room for developing new skills. The problem was that, very often, it was full  and due to the way the skatepark is designed it becomes very hard to utilise the whole area when it's so busy. People tend to just stick to one straight line. 
Checking out the humongous bowl at Arpoador, Rio
At the Lagoa skatepark bowl
Another interesting UP is that when we got back last Thursday we got the chance to check out the skatepark in Parramatta, west of Sydney, and it was the first time Zak skated back home, the day we landed from Brazil jetlagged as hell. Zak was amazing, he was in full form and skated better than ever. He also climbed up an enormous ramp and insisted on going down from the very top. For the first time since he started skating I actually had to beg him not to go down. It was way too steep and I just didn't think he would make it and had a terrible feeling things would go very very wrong if he dropped down from such high ramp. But it was nice to see him getting cocky again. It had been a while! He seems to be enjoying having his dad skate with him nowadays, and it's nice to see father and son bonding on wheels.

Zak in Florianopolis (Estreito) skatepark

Now for the downs...

In October, after demanding to go to the Riverwood skatepark day after day to see his big boy friends and skate with them, Zak developed a real aversion at the thought of even going near that skatepark. And there is absolutely no explanation to it. I've been with him every single time to that skatepark and the big boys have always been adorable and helpful and supportive. But nowadays, just at the mention of going to Riverwood, he goes mental, 3 year old style! Who knows what's going through his little head...

Zak in the big bowl at Bondi before our trip to Brazil

As I write today, we've had another example of taking Zak to the skatepark and he is so tired that he won't even consider going down the ramp or going on his board, and just throws himself on the floor and cries for no other reason than being a 3 year old who is extra tired at the end of the long day at pre-school. It's understandable, but then again he's the one that asks to go skating after I pick him up and throws another major tantrum if we decide to go home instead. So there is no winning when dealing with that age group. You just need to sigh and hope that in a few years it will all be much easier somehow. 

The final thing which has become a recurrent theme in the last couple of months, is the danger awareness that Zak developed, the full understanding of cause and consequence, and the fear of hurting himself when dropping from the big ramps. He often refuses or only reluctantly accepts to skate down steep ramps where he used to fearlessly drop-in from when he was 2.5. He admitted a couple of days ago that he's scared. Sometimes I catch myself putting pressure on him to go down these crazy steep ramps where he would normally be so comfortable in the past, and have to remind myself that he is only tiny and just turned 3, and to stop being such a silly mum. It's surprising to notice that in last than 4 months such a drastic shift in risk awareness has happened. I wonder if anything in particular has caused it or if it's a natural progression in his intelligence and brain development. It will be interesting to see where this all goes...

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