Enjoying the Skateparks

Saturday morning, I took Đán to ice hockey as our usual bonding time. Đán is an excellent skater. He has speed and perfected his hockey stop on both feet. His hockey skills, however, need more work. He couldn’t control the puck with his stick. He kept missing the goal. His coach loaned him a new stick for lefty, which seemed to help him. After class, his coach came to me and gave me the stick. He promised Đán that he would give him the stick if he finished level three. That was nice of him and Đán was happy about it.

We came back home and I took Đán, Xuân, and Vương to a Japanese ramen house for lunch. Đạo didn’t want to go. The night before, I promised Đán that I would take him out to one of his favorite restaurants if he read Let’s Read with Xuân. He was more than glad to do it. When I read this book with Đán when he was in kindergarten, he struggled quite a bit, but Xuân seemed to pick up the words quickly. In any rate, Đán and I ordered our favorite spicy miso ramen while Xuân and Vương ordered their favorite pork and chicken buns.

After lunch, we went back home and relaxed until 2 pm. Then I took Đạo, Đán, and Xuân to get their flu shots. Xuân volunteered to go first. This guy had no fear of the needle. He later described getting a flu shot was as painless as marrying his mom. His analogy was hilarious and I wish our marriage was that easy. Đán took the shot without a fuss. Đạo was a bit nervous, but I reassured him again that he wouldn’t even feel it if he would just relax. I told him to work with the needle instead of against it. He took my advice and we were done. He didn’t feel a thing. We were out of the pediatrician office in less than 15 minutes.

I took them to Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge to check out the skatepark, which has the tallest halfpipe I had seen yet. We had to take the stairs to go to the top of the pipe. If I were to drop in, I would either break every bone in my body or die. No one was dropping from this pipe; therefore, the kids used it as the slide instead and they loved the thrill. The skatepark also has a humongous bowl. Again, if I were to drop in, I would break my ass even at the shallow end.

Most of the skating activities took place in the area away from the bowl and the halfpipe. Đán rode the ramps with the skateboarders. He is a natural skater with confidence and a bit of fearlessness. Đạo and I hesitated a bit because of the crowd. There were quite a bit of skateboarders. Xuân rode around smaller ramps on his scooter. After spending nearly three hours at the skatepark, we headed to an ice cream parlor close by. The menu items were written in Spanish. All of the employees spoke primarily in Spanish. Although all three of my sons are enrolled in Spanish, only Đạo put his foreign language skills to use. Đán was shied and Xuân could only count from 1 to 29 in Spanish. I let Đạo order for us. After that, we went home and had dinner.

On Sunday, we got to sleep in a bit. Around 10 am, I took Đạo to the library to return some books and to pick up new ones. After reading a novel, I wanted to switch to nonfiction. I picked out two books. We went back home, tidied up the house a bit, and folded our clothes. We had a late lunch. Then I dragged my wife and all of our kids to Woodland Wonderland playground and Walker Mill skatepark in Maryland. I felt guilty for not spending too much time with Vương because he has not picked up skating yet. Since the playground and the skatepark were within walking distance, this place was perfect for us. My wife took Vương to the playground while the rest of us stayed at the skatepark. This skatepark was less scarier than the one in Woodbridge, but some skateboarders were a bit aggressive. Đán didn’t seem to mind. He went in and did his things. Đạo was a bit intimidated. Xuân tried out new ramps on his scooter. We were there for almost two hours and drove back home for dinner. That was pretty much how we spent our weekend. I was glad that the kids got to do outdoor activities rather than stayed home playing on their digital devices.