Since Angel got home from her summer away we have gone on our usual bike rides when the weather has permitted. (See blogpost iBert) The first time I got the bike out for one of these outings I had to air up the tires and dust the seats off. (I didn’t feel like riding my bicycle through the neighborhood while she was gone with an empty baby seat on the front. People may start to wonder if I’m crazy imagining that I have a baby in there or if I am looking to snatch one up.) I got Angel’s helmet, which is getting a little snug, and strapped it on her head. I loaded her up in her seat and climbed on top of my own. I knew she had grown over the summer, but I didn’t realize how much until I began to peddle and noticed that her helmet was right underneath my chin, not only that, she was heavier than I remembered. To make matters worse she started yelling FASTER, FASTER, FASTER!!!!! Her words clear, calling me out on being slow and out of shape on the bike. My legs were on fire as I peddled up and down, up and down. Finally, we reached a hill and I was able to give my legs a bit of a break. As we coasted down the hill she threw both hands up in the air as if she were on a roller coaster and yelled WHEEEEEEEE! Once we reached the bottom of the hill she said her famous words, “Do again?” I said, “Maybe tomorrow. If Mommy does that again today she might fall out.” (Thank goodness it rained the next day.) I have built my endurance since then but that hill still gets me every time.
I am not sure what I am going to do when she gets too big for this seat. Her legs are getting close to being as long as the seat itself, and soon I am going to have to look around her because she is growing taller. (I am only 5’3” ok 5’2 and some change, either way I am short.) I got rid of the 2 seat chariot at the garage sale, my hope of having a second child to ride around with her dissipating with each passing day. I am sure soon she won’t want to ride with me but will want to ride her own bicycle by herself. The thought of this makes my eyes well up with tears. I know that day is fast approaching, but until it comes I will enjoy the burn my legs get from going up that hill, and the tightness in my chest that I feel as I become out of breath from peddling so hard, and the delight I get from hearing her squeal from her excitement.
The bike is not the only thing that makes me feel out of shape and not as spry as I used to be. Angel has a tricycle and a battery operated Volkswagen, neither of which she knows how to steer so I have to run beside her to keep her on the side walk. This does a number on my back having to stay hunched over running beside her. I especially love it when she gets all the way at the end of the cul-de-sac and decides she wants to run home, leaving me to carry the tricycle or push the bug all the way home.
Finally, the trampoline has really solidified the notion that I am getting older. The first few times I got on it with Angel I just kind of bounced up and down not really letting my feet get in the air. Then when I was trying to teach her how to do a forward roll she asked me to do it so I did. Then I got brave and decided I would see what else I could still do. At first I attempted a front handspring and almost landed on my feet. Then I attempted a back handspring and actually did it with no problem. Angel was enjoying watching me do all of this encouraging me saying, “Do again”. Then I did a back tuck and pulled it off landing on my feet. The good news is that I am still young enough to do all of these flips. The bad news is my bladder isn’t.