I spent a great deal of the Easter holidays at the local skateboard/scooter/BMX ramp park with my five year old son as he pushed to the limits his new stunt scooter (and his parents). He deftly wove in and out the generally much older boys who congregated there; following them around; hanging on the edges of their conversations at the tops of the ramps; getting in their way as they performed all sorts of fancy tricks, while he mastered his more modest bunny hop. He was largely invisible to them, but there was also a nice sense of them looking out for him too when they occasionally bumped into him. We had our little routine of picking up a coffee (for Dad) and 2 doughnuts from the ‘Old McDonald’s’ drive through (despite me telling him it is just called McDonalds, he still insists on calling it Old McDonalds, which he says sounds better. I think he’s probably right) and then heading to the park. I sit on the bench out the way, while he does his thing. It was a rather unnerving glimpse ahead to the teenage years (he loved the guy who came along with his spray paint at one point and did some rather lame graffiti. ‘I want some of them!’ he said as we headed back to the car later with me trying to explain what it was the guy had been doing).
Anyway, in my quiet vigil I sat and sketched the unfolding activities. After initially drawing some of the poses of the figures, I eventually became more drawn to the architecture of the ramps and the surrounding parkland, as the top drawing demonstrates.
This is my boy doing his scooting thing (all 3 figures are him), and was my first drawing…
Today is the anniversary of my younger brother, Stu’s death from cancer five years ago. He never met my two children, but I often wonder what he would have made of them. I miss sharing these experiences with him, and feel much more alone these days.