Great new knitalong starts today over at Fringe Association. We are IN on this thing.

Life on the Mezzanine

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Dear Kay,
Most Saturday mornings, this is where you’ll find me.
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This is the Grownup Holding Area of the Sixth Avenue Skatepark.
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I figure that, having spent about fifty Saturdays in this place, I am good and ready for the apocalypse. Don’t you think the apocalypse will have busted-out sofas?
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The first time Clif persuaded me to take him to this place, I was deeply skeptical. He was still a novice skateboarder, working on landing his ollie, trying to do a pop shove it, with no HOPE of dropping in or working a manual. Not only did I think he would never make it down one of these ramps, I assumed I would never survive the soundtrack of this place, which averages about 125 decibels when somebody gets hold of the volume knob.
But when I looked up as we entered this mom-free zone, I saw a banner that was a clue:
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Any skatepark with Johnny Cash looking down benevolently can’t be all creepy.
In fact, at this point, I look forward to sitting on my unupholstered wooden chair and listening to the music that gets into my bones. I think they play a geezer mix on Saturday mornings, because that’s when the young kids get to skate and the Grownup Holding Area is hopping. A lot of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Dylan.
Some parents bring their own fold-up chairs like they’re at their kid’s flag football game, so worrisome is the sofa situation.
Occasionally, the music turns into a murky contemporary Christian rock thing, because the place is run by contemporary Christians, but I only figure this out when I hear a loud, wailing, “Salvaaaaaaaaaation” in some song that sounds like a U2 knockoff.
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I have done a lot of knitting in this place, and I was so productive this past Saturday that I seamed up my whole Yank coat and was left with setting in the sleeves. I had planned to set in the sleeves back at home, because I like to do a lot of pinning and futzing when I’m setting in a sleeve. But the spirit took hold of me, and I stitched them in freehand, no pins, no nothing–and I even landed them in place with the right side out.
Clif landed an axle stall at just about the same time. You should see the guy these days: a small Tony Hawk, flying around, launching himself with glee.
“We’ve got a pretty good deal going, don’t we?” he said as we headed home. “You knit, I skate.”
Love,
Ann

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. This makes me think of my kids music lessons… every Monday afternoon I sit on the floor in the “adult holding area” of a local church (where they have the nursery on Sundays – all the chairs are plastic and very tiny). I listen to the squeaking and squawking of the clarinets with an occational recognizable melody and knit – alot. The clarinet teacher’s getting a pair of socks for Christmas this year – I should make her some fuzzy earmuffs, but she says she likes the “music”. God bless her.

  2. Livin’ large, Ann!

  3. “We’ve got a pretty good deal going, don’t we?” he said as we headed home. “You knit, I skate.”
    — clever boy you have there! ;o)

  4. I spent a lot of days sitting at Sixth Ave., knitting, and hoping Rockboy wouldn’t break a bone or something that didn’t belong to us.
    I think the best memory is of some other boy asking Rockboy who his mom was and him yelling – “She’s the cool one, wearing black, and knitting!”
    Good times.

  5. I spent a lot of days sitting at Sixth Ave., knitting, and hoping Rockboy wouldn’t break a bone or something that didn’t belong to us.
    I think the best memory is of some other boy asking Rockboy who his mom was and him yelling – “She’s the cool one, wearing black, and knitting!”
    Good times.

  6. That reminds me of the horrible places we had go for our son’s rock band concerts – filthy stinky dives that I wouldn’t have dreamed of going to if it hadn’t been for him. Unfortunatly, it was too dark to knit, and even if it hadn’t been, I had to keep my fingers in my ears because it was so loud. Count your blessings…

  7. Is one supposed to skateboard indoors? That seems very crazy to me, because I think one only skateboards downtown in office-building plazas. But then, what do I know….
    So, tomorrow we see the coat??

  8. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found myself doing the “nod and smile” while reading the skater lingo (I don’t have a clue). Very impressive, Ann! Anxious to see a FO picture soon…
    p.s. LOVE your young man’s quote at the end!

  9. Aw, you’re such a good Mom. My son and I have a similar symbiotic relationship. He’s been known to say, “Mom, why don’t you go get your knitting and sit there so I can natter on at you.” The boy knows mom will sit indefinitely if she’s got her knitting.

  10. Oh dear, I hope they don’t play that Kyrie Eleison one.
    That one always bugs the heck out of me. Let’s set ALL the liturgy to faux rock anthems, shall we? Let’s just ROCK OUT to Sweet Home Agnus Dei.
    Crabby Old Lutheran in NYC

  11. “You knit, I _____.” Love it!
    Any sport or hobby that has parents or caregivers sitting there during the painful learning process requires a tranquilizer of some kind. If nothing else, many sports parents need some kind of chill pill – knitting is mine! Can’t wait to see your new coat.

  12. He said he loved you! Right there! (I grok boy talk.)

  13. Excellent! You’ve got one fine boy there in Clif and he’ll keep talking to you I am certain because you’re there for him. We took our son and daughter scuba diving in the Great Lakes and learned alot about them and their lives on those hour-long drives. I tell parents, just sit still and listen, you’ll learn a lot.

  14. Excellent son and Yank! Clif sounds like a great kid. We took our son and daughter scuba diving in the Great Lakes every weekend when they were teens. We learned a lot about them and their lives on those hours-long drives. I advise all parents of pre- and teens, just sit still and listen, don’t talk. You won’t believe what you’ll learn.

  15. AAAWWWHHHH!!! Good job with that kid :)

  16. Whoa, he can land an axle stall? My second-grader Rufus (who met you at Rhinebeck) will be sooo impressed. We are still in thrall to little bitty Tech Decks that tragically crunch under foot when left where adults stumble around in the night. I’m dreading the arrival of a real skateboard …
    We spend hours at fencing lessons every Saturday morning, first Rufus, who is endearingly inept at blood sports, then my husband, who fenced saber in college. They fence, I knit. There is one comfy seat, and lots of light, but no music. Since one fencing master is a dentist (in her day job) this may be a good thing. Ack, dental office music.

  17. Sweet.
    Great Yank, too….

  18. sounds just like a male

  19. My mind took off in a thousand directions at the most excellent title of this post. “Life on the Mezzanine”? Whatever could that mean? Now I know.
    You have a great kid there.

  20. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

  21. How very cool. Can’t wait to see the Yank.

  22. Congrats on almost finishing your coat. I just purchased one of your books at a local book store. I had intended just to peruse it while sipping on a latte, but the writing was so well done that for the first time – I purchased a knitting book not for the patterns, but for writing itself. I have been reading it on and off for the last week, it is a little embarassing when you begin to giggle (without realizing this) and people in the breakroom at work begin to stare at you. Your sense of humor is appreciated.

  23. The skating rink, music academy and soccer pitch are just not as cool as your skate park. It does amaze me that after all these years of knitting baby gifts, sweaters, blanketsas I practice patience, the other moms haven’t done anything.

  24. I knit pretty much everywhere I go, but because I don’t have children yet I don’t need it to last through the doldrums of lessons. Hopefully I’ll have places to knit as comfortable as yours (though with less audio).

  25. I have 2 kids who both earned their 2nd degree black belts before they could drive themselves to karate lessons,and I knit many a stitch while sitting on hard chairs, proudly watching them. Surely I have earned a black belt in knitting! I could knit my own!

  26. Sounds like our snowboarding. We have an hours drive to the mountain. You can get in lots of good conversation trapped in a car with your son for an hour. I sit in the lodge and knit. Don’t mind it a bit. Made some friends, made my son happy, I’m happy. Life is good!

  27. it’s great that he thinks it is cool that you knit. Great job with the coat.

  28. Sixth Avenue Skatepark–the birthplace of Sk8tr!
    Mary G. in Texas

  29. We don’t have Johnny Cash or Christian Rock and no music for the parents, but in addition to the sofa’s there are two sets of metal bleachers at our local indoor skate park. I have done my share of knitting there. Parents have looked on at my knitting in envy. I have offered to teach them, but so far only one cheer mom (different stadium) has decided to take me up on it. It was predestined for her, she doesn’t like to sit and do nothing, and she is a FAN of the ballband. Some knitter near us knits warshrags (I have not seen them) and sells them for (get this) $12 each. Yes, you did read that right, I was glad I was not drinking when my friend, the fan of the ballband told me. When I took her to Walmart, showed her the Peaches and Cream…and told her two balls would make more than one ballband, the deal was CLOSED! She may only knit dishclothes, but she wears her SWS Maine Morning Mitts (yeah, I am reeling her in) as she knits.

  30. That’s awesome! We have only frequented the outdoor skateparks and I am required to stay as far away as possible if other kids are there.

  31. Geez Louise, I hate it when that happens! Looks like nothing is going on with the computer, then presto bingo it posts twice. Sorry!

  32. I made three quilts in one year sitting in the car at the beach while my son surfed every afternoon after school. And I loved it. He got to do what he wanted with supervision and I got non-guilt time to quilt. Good on ya Ann

  33. That is so cute..

  34. So many parents would give anything to have that kind of pretty good deal going with a son old enough for a skate park – and to have the kind of son who gets that knitting is your skateboard. Good job.

  35. I love this whole post.
    It reminds me of the time Clif and you attended Titans practice together. The spirit is the same and it made me feel warm all over.
    Thanks…for all the memories of knitting at football, basketball, Quiz Bowl…and, now, on the plane to visit my kids.
    I miss those early days.

  36. love (1,000)

  37. I am sure I could have survived this phase in my own sons’ development had I been a knitter then.

  38. I have a feeling of deja vu when I see your skatepark. Our one is in St Albans and is called Pioneer. My son was impressed and wanted to know whether the axle stall is on a ledge or a ramp.
    Big love J

  39. It appears that not much gets by your son as per his quote. It DOES seem like a good arrangement as long as you keep the needles away from the active boarding. And if you listen closely to some U2, you may also hear some Christian lyrics, but the music and overall message are more well done that most of the pop stuff.

  40. You seam at a skatepark? You RAWK! What’s next? Purling while you parcours [sic]? (What in the world is a pop shove it and where is it shovéd?)

  41. Love the devotion–on several different levels, like mirror images of mirror images. But it all spells M-O-M. Thanks.
    LoveDiane