I love roller derby.  I love my kids.  I don’t understand why my kids don’t love roller derby except that maybe they naturally think anything I like (the Rolling Stones, Scorsese movies, and beer with tomato juice) is uncool, while everything they like (Ke$ha, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and Capri Sun) is awesome.  I think I’ll change their minds this weekend, or at least, I hope to.  (If not about derby, then at least about Ke$ha.)

Tomorrow night, the Charleston Civic Center will host a roller derby double-header with a headlining bout between my team, the Chemical Valley Rollergirls and the Blackwater Rollers from Lynchburg, VA.  This is an event that has been years in the making; created by women (single, married, moms, and not moms) who have been building this league since 2008. Everything about it is cool.  The fact that it’s a full-contact sport; the fact that it involves true athleticism (NO- it’s NOT fake!); the fact that it empowers women; and the fact that complex events like tomorrow night’s bout seem to come together through the sheer will of the participants.  It’s fun to play and it’s fun to watch.   Hopefully, my children will learn that on Saturday. 

To encourage their participation, I’ve had them making signs and picking out their most festive red and black clothing.  I thought they’d kill me with their boredom during practice last night, but luckily- with fifteen minutes to go- they entertained themselves by hula hooping and running the Civic Center stairs.  I mean, how is that more fun than skating around a track while you try to knock other people out of bounds?  But, whatev- what do I know, right?

If you’re a parent and you want to do something different with your kids this weekend, consider attending the Chucktown Shutdown, Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center.  Tickets for kids ages 6-12 are five dollars and tickets for kids under 6 are free.  There’s beer, if you’re into that, and other concessions if you’re not.  There will be music before the bout and during halftime, plus hula hoopers and- well, who knows what else…

On top of all this fun, and as important to us rollergirls and moms, is the fact that 10% of the proceeds from this event will go directly to the Children’s Therapy Clinic.  The Children’s Therapy Clinic is a private, non-profit organization that provides comprehensive therapy to children with disabilities.  As strong and as tough as some rollergirls are, I’m guessing we’ve got nothing on the parents and caregivers of kids who need therapy for neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy; musculoskeletal disorders such as spina bifida, and genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome.  The organization provides physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral therapy for the treatment of children with these disabilities, and other disorders including autism and cystic fibrosis.  We derby girls are serious about the game and serious about trying to help enrich our community, the same way that the Children’s Therapy Clinic enriches the lives of these kids and their parents, caregivers, and family members; we’re happy to partner up with them!

So, please, if you get a chance come and bring the little ones.  And, if you see a kid with a sign that says, “My mom’s on the bench, but she’s still a badass” it will be one of mine.


(This post was originally published in the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommyhood blog.)


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