Saturday, June 02, 2007

New bike, old 'hood and Prairie Home Companion

We've been thinking about getting son a real bike. He's mastered the Big Wheel and his scooter and I really didn't want to see what happened to me happen to him. You see, I didn't get a bike until I was eight years old. My parents had a total of 7 kids and there were 5 in front of me, so I guess they forgot. Anyway, on my 8th Christmas I got a bike. I was so excited until my dad tried to teach me to ride -- they skipped the whole training wheel thing. The neighborhood kids were pointing and laughing as an eight-year-old was being pushed down the street by her dad. Folks, it was humiliating and I carry the scars to this day. I want to make sure son has mastered at least riding with no training wheels, if not riding with no hands, by the time he is eight -- he's 4.5 so I think we'll make it.
Last week I found a nice bike at a local sporting goods store. I wanted to talk it over with husband before I made the purchase. We decided to go ahead and do it, so this morning son and I headed over to the store to buy the bike. It was gone. Sold. Another one might be in on Tuesday. Son was a bit sad, but not as sad as me. We decided to head to another store in our old 'hood (more on that later) about 15 minutes away. It is a huge sporting goods store. Guess what? They don't sell bikes! The young teen who I was asking for help told me to go across to Target to get a nice bike. Target for a bike? NEVER! I didn't want son to get some lame superman, spiderman, or whatever flavor-of-the-month character would be splashed all over the bike. I wanted a real bike, a quality bike, one he would be proud to take care of.
My first bike was used and that never bothered me. It was a beautiful, blue schwinn. Our family got all of our bikes from "The Bike Man" in Venice -- he was some old dude who sold new bikes but also refurbished used bikes. It was a great bike and I rode it and cherished it for years. Anyway... I'm going on and on... while daughter napped, husband took son out to a bike store a few miles away and came home with a great bike. It brought tears to my eyes to watch son proudly peddling around the cul-de-sac with his little helmet on. And we have the added bonus of buying from a local small business.

While son and I were on our morning search we ended up in our old neighborhood. Son said he wanted to drive by our old house -- it's been almost exactly a year since we moved. As we drove up our old street I was hit with nostalgia big time. We moved to that house about 2 weeks before son was born. I started thinking about our first walks, first trips to the local park, first time trick-or-treating. We hit the neighborhood park for a few minutes and I almost started crying. I love my family now, but there is something so tender about that time I had alone with my son. I really enjoyed it and I remember thinking when I was pregnant with our daughter how I would lose out on time with my little buddy. He and I were pals. He would go with me to get coffee and shop for towels at Kohls. We would play in our front yard all the time. Since his sister joined our family I don't have as much one-on-one time with him. I love my daughter more than anything and I often wonder if she feels ripped off because she never got that same time with me. I really don't think so, she is a pistol and happy and funny and all that. The family expands and the love keeps growing.

As I type this I'm listening to A Prairie Home Companion. I admit it, I'm a public radio addict. If I don't have the kids in the car, it's all I listen to. If husband takes the kids out for a bit, that's what is flowing through the airwaves in my house -- yes, I'm lame. Husband doesn't care for this particular program, but for some reason, I do. Anyway, I was folding laundry a few minutes ago and listening to the show... a musical act came on and people were applauding at certain points and I'm like, yeah, that was some awesome fiddlin', but then in the middle of the music, everyone in the audience starts laughing and I'm like, what is so funny?

1 comment:

Nyx said...

Well written article.