“Mommy, let’s have a road rally!”
“A race like they have on Micky Mouse Clubhouse“
“You can ride your bike and I’ll ride my big wheel”.
I glance at my bike rusted and beaten from going through Hurricane Sandy in my parents garage. The seat is twisted and the handle bars are crooked.
“I don’t know buddy, Mommy has to fix her bike seat”
I lift the lever and pull the seat up and move the baby seat on the back so that I can free my seat. I pull and pull until the seat moves freely and I carefully adjust it so it’s just the right height.
“I fixed it.”
“Let’s go” he shouts grabbing his big wheel and pedaling down the driveway.
And I hop on my bike amazed my how it really is like riding a bike, you never forget. I coast down the driveway and round the corner.
“Come on Mom, the race is starting”.
And for a moment I feel silly, riding my busted bike at a snails pace down the street. But I look at him and he’s smiling and laughing and my heart melts the way it does these days because his excitement is so contagious. And it feels good to ride my bike, the weather is perfect and the wind is just right.
And I get lost in the moment watching him pedal his big wheel that he could barely pedal just a few months ago and now he seems almost too big for it. I keep debating a big boy bike for him but it seems an extravagant purchase when it isn’t Christmas or his birthday. And I don’t know if I’m ready for that big boy bike yet, even though he probably is. I’m not ready to put the big wheel away.
“Hey Mom, I think this is going to be my hobby. “
“Riding my bike”
“What’s a hobby?”
“It’s something you like to do. What’s your hobby?”
“I like to write and to read”
“Umm I like photography too”.
“And you like cooking? Right mom?”
“You’re right I like cooking too”.
And my feet push the pedals and he rides along on his big wheel, it making that rumbling sound that only big wheels seem to make. And it reminds me so much of the one I had as a kid, all mint green and purple with cabbage patch kids, long before the days of all things girl being pink.
And I think I would hit pause now if I could and ride on like this together. And I think of all the moms I’ve seen riding bikes with their kids and now I am one of them. And I think of pushing him in a stroller, something we rarely do anymore. I think of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown. I think about all the joy he’s brought me. All the little ways he’s made me smile, laugh, and feel loved. There is nothing quite like being loved by a 3 year old. It’s overwhelming and wonderful, to be so loved, to be called mom, to feel so tired, and overwhelmed and smothered and loved and happy all at once.