Why is there a half pipe in your driveway?

The Pizza delivery guy asked me this a few nights ago. I just smiled and gave him his tip.

As you know, we are an avid sports family.

The kids are involved in everything from Surfing, Volleyball, and Flag Football to Soccer, Hoops and slumber parties, play dates, and backyard “Jailbreak” parties.

They are Kids. Nikki and I want this stage of life to be about fun, activity, socializing, and sports all day, every day. I hope it continues for life and leads them to be passionate, explore and pursue their interests.

Life for us includes having a backyard gate to our best friends, the Wilsons. A family every bit as active as ours but with more of an Xgames/Extreme sports lifestyle. The dad, Billy, is a Baja Trophy Truck racer and the handiest, mechanical thinking person I’ve ever met. The Wilson kids are like this. They can skate, bike, drive, balance, conceptualize mechanical components, and think 10 steps ahead. Our kids are ALWAYS together. We’re more of a tribe than neighbors.

You were there for co-vid just like we were.

EVERYTHING came to a halt.

If you’ve been hanging with me and reading these articles, you get a little about how my wife and I parent our kids. This is their time. We’re busy but also have been blessed to have great mentors who assured us that it all just goes away too quickly. They remind us to embrace the chaos and not dread it.

When such a giant chunk of my kids’ life abruptly halted a few years ago… The sports, the socializing, school, you know, the stuff that is extremely important to kids for both their well-being and enjoyment -when that stuff stopped, we weren’t satisfied with waiting until things got back to normal.

I’m not debating Covid and the after-effects here, everyone was affected differently, but along with the Wilsons, we quickly concluded that we weren’t going to be OK waiting.

Billy had grown up with all of his ex games type of life. He taught me how to build humps, ramps, and jumps.

I’m not really skilled at carpentry, but I love to learn new skills, and I jumped into this project with excitement and mediocre patience for learning curves.

Along with purchasing some quality bikes and skateboards, our backyard turned into a mini version of what you would see on YouTube or Instagram.

The Wilson’s even purchased a giant airbag from DD airbags where the kids could do some serious trickery with the ability to “experiment with dangerous things carefully.”

In some regards, like everyone, Covid stressed my family. But for the most part, my kids and the neighbors thrived. It was just a different version of learning and experimenting and was a great time to be a kid.

When one of my friends saw some of our posts online and asked if we would be interested in the half pipe that his girls had outgrown. There was no decision. 100% “send it!”

We just didn’t know where to put it.

The only reality was it would have to sit just outside our front door in our driveway.

Of course, there was a little thought as to what our owner’s association might think, but I will give you a link to our backyard fence if you want to see the reality of how that works in my neighborhood.

My kids use the half pipe. The neighbors use the half pipe. I caught our UPS guy giving it a run one day. They learn, hang out, try new skills, encourage each other, laugh, and have fun in my front driveway.

This isn’t one of those “rah-rah talks” about how to excel during a worldwide pandemic. It’s not even one of those “find opportunities in challenging situations” articles.

I think l, for me, the half pipe represents what I am told by so many of my clients every day in my clinic. It’s probably the biggest reason you’ll find us taking these trips across the planet searching for Jackson’s chameleons or a basilisk in the tropical forests of Panama or taking Piper Cub Flights to sandbars along rivers in Alaska.

It’s that the time with our kids moves pretty fast. If we get stuck waiting for the perfect opportunities and timing, we can miss it. Sports, schools, dating… these are all real-life issues that come up. Although they are still and always will be our kids, their priorities and aims in life change.

If you Wait too long for something, it might disappear!

We’re not perfect. Nobody is.

PERFECT is an impossible standard to which I am getting better at not comparing myself to.

But I do think we do a pretty good job of letting our kids live in the “now.” We understand it is ever-changing and we just don’t have time to wait.

That’s why our lives seems so chaotic. That’s how I can justify buying a BMX bike that my kids don’t use daily. It’s why our yard and house are constantly evolving and, why it is nothing like what I envision a “normal” adult house being.

Life, for the most part, especially in Texas, quickly returned to normal. The half-pipe doesn’t get anything close to the attention it used to. Honestly, I haven’t even seen a kid running up and down the walls of it in the last month.

But I still love walking out the front door and seeing it sitting there. It makes me smile; it serves a purpose and is there for them if they need it. And that’s good enough.

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