I have raised my kids since they were two and three years old. We have had adventures, disasters, comic relief, and endless days of fun. We have had slumber parties underneath the dining room table. Built forts out of boxes in the back yard. Gone for lots and lots of drives in the country and told each other our deepest, most private secrets. Like, “I ate a worm yesterday.” “I hate Betsy; she’s a GIRL.”
Our wanderings and travels usually cost only gas for the car (very cheap then – five dollars would fill up my car that got 40 mpg). We would go to the airport and watch the planes land. We would go to every single lake within a 30-mile radius – there are lots!!!! We would go for drives that ended up with picnics along the Spokane River or in the woods of Nine Mile.
My youngest son had a spirit about him that Just.Would.Not.Quit. Their grandfather was about ready to bust his britches when we moved back to Spokane and they were about four and five years old. He brought them each a bike to ride – and their little legs wouldn’t even reach the peddles, let alone the pavement.
The youngest one persevered. He’d drag the bike over to the front porch and then leap onto it from the top step – only his momentum would propel him to tip over on the other side of the bike. But he persevered. Then he started running along the sidewalk with the bike at his side and take a flying leap to the seat and coast for ten feet until the speed slowed to a point of wobbly tires, and tip over. Finally, various neighbors would feel the daddy genes kick in and often I would see one of them racing along the street with my youngest ensconced on his precious bike, arms spread wide, grin from ear to ear, that he was actually riding a bike. (It never came with training wheels, you see.)
My oldest child waited until his legs grew long enough so that he could practically walk the bike while seated.
The youngest loved his bike. The oldest hated his; “it’s ugly baby poop brown, Mom!” or “It’s dorky!”
Then there was the summer of the bike thefts. The younger son’s bike was stolen - - - frequently. Once we found it right under our noses – on the side of the house where bamboo grew wild and created the perfect hiding place. Once returned from another little friend who was mad at him last weekend but not today. And finally gone forever by a nasty little kid on the other side of the school.
I eventually got him a new bike.
The older son wailed, “Why can’t they take MY bike!!!!”
“Because it’s dorky,” said the younger.
So it was with little surprise that one day I arrived from work to see the dorky, poop colored bike hanging on our fence with a sign “take me.”
There were no takers.