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A Bike Ride (Ruth’s SOLS 10/31)

All five of us went for a bike ride tonight. Five bikes; four people. The little guy rides on a seat on the back of my bike. This will be his third summer riding on the back of my bike. I love having him close.

Sometimes we chat. He tells me what he’s thinking. He talks about the things he’s noticing. He rambles on about electricity.

Sometimes we’re silent. He seems to just take it all in. I can see his shadow with his too-big head thanks to the helmet and I imagine his content smile. I steal glimpses and smile at the Scooby-Doo sunglasses wrapped around his head.

Sometimes he encourages me: Faster Momma, Faster!  Other times it seems more like he chastises me: Aren’t we going farther? But usually he simply adores me: I love you as big as the sky.

Tonight, as I lifted him into his seat and adjusted the straps to make up for his growth over the winter months, I realized he is nearly the same age as Stephanie was when she came home to us. He is only a month younger. Steph wouldn’t have fit in the bike seat. She was nearly twice the size as Sam. He just started wearing 4T; she was growing into size 7.  He barely comes to my waist, she neared my shoulders. I can pick him up, swing him around, and plop him on my shoulders. She barely fit on my lap.

Too often the size of a child influences the way we respond to them. Steph is still big for her age. She and Hannah share clothes. (In fact, they may share flip-flops with me this summer!) Her build comes in handy since she can out-run, out-jump, out-shoot almost anyone her age (and she very-much likes to be first), but it also can hinder, since people think she’s older than she really is.

Who would have thought the bike ride this afternoon would be a reminder to me to treat children according to their developmental needs — not according to how I think they should act based on their size.?

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “A Bike Ride (Ruth’s SOLS 10/31) Leave a comment

  1. I, too, loved riding behind my dad on his bike. I have even better memories of trying to ride my dad’s bike with a sibling in the seat. That was kind of disasterous. LOL.

    @Mrs. V, those trailers scare me a little! Too close to the ground for my comfort!

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  2. Aren’t you the lucky ones to have weather warm enough to ride a bike! I can’t wait.

    As I read the sentence that describes your son riding in a seat behind you, I was immediately drawn back to a memory of when my second son was that little and also rode in a bike seat attached to my bike. We would go for long bike rides while his older brother was at preschool. The days were full of sunshine and warmth and we were having such a great time…all of a sudden I would feel a heaviness against my back and when I turned around, I would discover he had fallen asleep! Not an easy ride back home, I tell you. Thank you for sharing such a special time.

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  3. Oops. I forgot to add, I have seen many bikes that have the little trailers behind, but I am glad that they weren’t invented yet when I was that age because I loved the closeness to my parents. Seeing that yours was a seat on the back of your bike close enough to have a conversation made me smile.

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  4. This reminded me of the seat on the back of my Mom’s Schwin when I was growing up. My dad also had a seat on the back of his, but I don’t remember it as distinctly. I just remember whether I was with my mom or my dad, I always loved the time together!

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