Epiblogue: He finally catches him
So in the face of his new bicycle hostilities and fears that he'll never be able to keep up with Big Guy, I had to come up with a new plan, one that involved both a goal and a different mode of transportation.
The problem was that Big Guy wanted to bike every morning - because just evenings weren't enough - and Boots never wanted to get on a bike again for as long as he lives. I was with Big Guy on this one. We'd done it enough mornings that I looked forward to the mind-clearing break, even if it came with ear-splitting howls from Boots.
The first part, the goal, was easy. The shoppette is about a mile from our house, not so far that it would exhaust anyone but Boots but far enough that I felt like I'd done something. "What if we ride to the shoppette and get a juice? That way, you'll be refreshed for the ride back," I proposed.
That's right, I actually suggested that a fit-as-a-fiddle 6-year-old could not travel 10 minutes without refreshment. It's ridiculous, I know, but it played to his weakness, his fear of being dehydrated while lost in the desert. Boots learned the most important rule of Fort Irwin - never leave home without your water bottle - long ago.
"OK!" Boots said happily agreed before realizing I also was asking him to face up to Public Enemy No. 1. His bike.
"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but I can't do it. I can't ride the bike," he pouted.
The potential joys of striding proudly into the shoppette and buying his own juice, though, caused him to think a little harder. He looked around the garage and found a solution. "Big Guy's scooter! I'll ride his scooter! I'm bam fast on that!"
Because Big Guy wanted to go so badly, he didn't protest. "Sure," he shrugged. "Take my scooter."
And so it's been the past three mornings. It works for now. Boots can keep up, and Big Guy gets his morning ride. Maybe next summer Boots will try the bike again. Or maybe he'll just stick with the scooter until he trades it in for car keys.
Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.