Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Miles and Miles
I was feeling a bit glum the other day, I don't remember any more why nor do I think it matters. When Nik asked if I'd like to go for a bike ride with the kids I shrugged my shoulders and grabbed my helmut. Anything would be better than sitting with my gloom.
A minute into the bike ride my whole outlook changed. Oliver, I quickly realized, has got it. He's riding. He's using the brakes to slow down on a hill and to stop when we come to a signal or road crossing. He's standing up to put more power into his pedaling on inclines. He's staying as far to the right as he can manage. We still call out to him and remind him from time to time: slow down, use your brakes. ... but mostly it has become unnecessary. He's so aware of his environment, watching us, adjusting his actions to mirror ours. Cautious but in control.
And the best part? The look on his face as he rides along with us. Peaceful. Joyful. Competent.
I threw away his old tennis shoes -- the ones with the holes in the toes that showed he hadn't quite mastered the brakes. His new shoes are a size and a half bigger! This time I bought the really expensive Stride Rites (well, on sale) because I knew he'd be keeping the toes until he out grew them.
My boy turned seven a few days ago. And together -- on foot, on bicycle and in our hearts -- we've traveled miles and miles.