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Hitting the road – together

Submitted by on Monday, 5 March 2012 One Comment

I’m a mom, so I have strange dreams.

No, I’m not talking about the one shortly after I returned to work following the Boots maternity leave, when every night for a week  brake failure sent my car careening backwards downhill as I drove to drop the guys off at day care. Think there was a message there?

I’m talking about the one that dates back more than two years, to shortly after I  worked up the nerve to get on the bike I’d inherited from a neighbor.  I’ve envisioned ever since the guys and me pedaling around Fort Irwin like all those happy families I see on sunny weekends.

The first hurdle between us and biking bliss was my abysmal physical conditioning. The second, which took much longer to overcome, was Boots’ belief that he would never be able to keep up.

Suddenly, over the past weekend, he figured out that he could.

It happened when we went over to a friend’s to play and a buddy wanted to show off his new bike. The buddy is a year younger than Boots, but the bike was bigger. Big enough that, had the bike been presented to Boots, he would have freaked out in a fit of “I can’t do this!”

But because the friend was riding, Boots decided he could too. He zipped around the neighborhood, up inclines and around circles. By Sunday, he’d decided he could do it again.

“Mommy, can we take a bike ride after dinner, to Auntie L’s?”

Oh dear.

Auntie L’s is a three-mile round trip along my old evening route -  a gentle uphill, a slight downhill and then another easy climb before you coast back home. It’s not terribly demanding, but I feared it would do in a boy who’d just found his super powers.

I need not have worried. He pulled the hill like Lance Armstrong, bouncing off his bike to ring Auntie L’s doorbell. “I rode my bike! I rode my bike! All the way here!”

It was starting to get dark by the time we headed back. Dark enough that I wished we’d swiped Dad’s reflective PT belts. Dark enough that if Big Guy had kept quiet I could have convinced Boots that the coyote across the street was a dog. It turns out that Boots wasn’t worried.

“It’s OK. I’d be freaked out on my scooter, but I’m much faster on my bike. I can get away,” he assured me.

I sighed. “Guys, this is a dream come true for me,” I said with a grin that glowed through the gloaming.

“You have weird dreams, Mom,” Big Guy said.

Maybe so, but I’m dreaming even bigger now. I’m looking for lights in case we get caught out after dusk again. I’m Googling bike paths so we’re ready to ride when we move. I’m checking Amazon for backpack picnic baskets so we can make an afternoon of it. I’m …

I’m getting totally carried away. Yes, I know that. But in a week when Boots not only starts to believe he can keep up with Big Guy but pedals three miles to prove it, anything is possible.

Copyright 2012 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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