Lemmings on SkateboardsMay 9th, 2012 by Chris Henry
Heard on the newsroom scanner: ” … three youths on skateboards hanging onto the spoiler of a vehicle … going 45 miles per hour … down Sedgwick Road.”
The reporter in me said, “Well, there’s breaking news in the making.” The mother in me said, “I hope they’re wearing their helmets.”
By some miracle, likely law enforcement intervention, said youths did not end up the subject of a Code 911 item.
When I mentioned I might write a blog post about the stunt, fellow reporter Steve Gardner warned me that people might misconstrue the message and think I was glorifying the teens’ stupidity. So let me make this perfectly clear, if I were their mother, those kids would so be grounded.
A lot has been written lately about the teenage brain. David Dobbs’ article last fall in National Geographic outlined research indicating there’s an evolutionary purpose to the risk-taking behavior that teens seem compelled, despite their own better judgement, to engage in. Taking risks serves to prepare young people to become independent, leave home and start their own lives, the article states. That’s something I’m guessing most parents would endorse. But that doesn’t make parenting, especially parenting teens, any less scary.
From the time you welcome a child into your home through birth or adoption it seems life becomes one great video game in which hazards and threats pop up on the horizon either aimed at your child or toward which your child is rushing headlong. At some point, you’ve got to let go of her hand, the bicycle seat, the car keys … and the notion you ever really had much control to begin with.
Probably the scariest thing is remembering yourself at the same age. I will not hereby recount some of my teenage risk-taking behaviors because I don’t want readers to think I’m glorifying stupidity.
Happy Mother’s Day to all, especially the moms of those lucky lemmings on skateboards.