Whew! Those holidays and the end of the year will creep up on you and suck time right away won’t they. Sorry I haven’t updated in a while.
So in my last post I wrote about my younger stepson and how hard it was to get him motivated to want to keep riding his bike.
He’s a little more into it these days. Not as much as his brother but about a month ago (when the weather was, believe it or not, still quite warm) the older boy and momma were gone so I mentioned maybe taking a little bike ride around the neighborhood. I was surprised at his enthusiasm when he jumped on the idea.
I had been trying to put together a metal shed in my backyard for most of the afternoon (which by the way is a bitch to do) so with only an hour of daylight left I figured all we had time for was going to the front of the neighborhood and back. It’s only two miles but the younger boy doesn’t pedal too fast, is still getting the hang of riding and he’s on a pretty small bike. But we got our helmets and took off.
This is him rounding the corner toward the neighborhood clubhouse and pool. Notice the giant water tower off in the distance.
On a November Saturday afternoon/evening, traffic was pretty slow but he has this weird thing about crossing streets in that if he sees a car, even if it’s really, really far away he won’t cross the street. I mean it has to be pretty far away for him to decide to go across. So here’s him after I told him to run across the street with his bike. He saw a car coming and started to run as fast as he could but it turned onto a street well before us. Still… he was a little winded from the close call. (where’s that sarcasm font)
So he pulled it together and we kept riding. We rode over some tiny, little mounds that he swore were big hills. And I showed him a spot at the entrance of our subdivision where wild dewberries grow and posed for a quick pic with our trusty steeds in the background. The miracle of this image is that he actually stayed still and smiled. He used to never do that… maybe he’s grown out of it. Hell, maybe he was just having a good time.
So we got to the very front of our subdivision and were about to head back and he said, “I wonder if I could ever ride to that water tower?” He said it in such a way that I knew what he really was saying was could we ride to the water tower now? So I said, “Well I don’t see why not. You wanna try it?”
I knew it was only another half mile at best to get out to it. I was sure he could make it so we went. The problem is we had to cross another street. A busy street… with cars… moving cars… and a street light. We were about 50 feet from the intersection and I was trying to get him to pedal up to it so we could run across when we got the light but he kept seeing cars coming from behind us and wanted to wait for them to pass. I told him, “look we’ve got to go now because the light is about to change and we won’t make it if we don’t go now.”
So we started pedaling and as luck would have it the light changed just as we got to the intersection. I started yelling back to him “pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal!” There was a lot of engine noise and other sounds of traffic, a little confusion on his part on where he should go but we made it across just as the light went from yellow to red and he let out a “YEAH!!! WE DID IT!!!”
It was pretty cool. He had a really huge sense of accomplishment. The tower was still in sight and so we headed off. We rode out of the parking lot we were in on to a small trail through a field with tall, wild grass. We made it through there and back on to the street. It’s weird how things we as adults take for granted are challenges to little kids. Like riding off the trail, over a curb and onto the street. He had to get off, put his bike on the road, then get back on. So we pedaled our way down the street and he was a little more confident that cars weren’t going to hit us because this two lane street was really, really wide… it’s almost a four lanes really.
So we made our way to the water tower, learned a little about traffic laws, how big a water tower really is and we learned a little about self accomplishment. The sun was starting to go down so I said we really needed to head back home. I took a couple of pictures of him in front of the tower and we made our way back.
Apparently, a month later he still talks about his bicycle trip to the water tower. THAT is an accomplishment… creating positive, childhood memories.