As we begin our transition from Winter to Spring here in Massachusetts, one of my favorite activities is upon us once again…bike riding. Ever since I was a young girl, my bicycle was my ticket to freedom, my connection to the outdoors, my outlet to get moving and a great time to laugh and talk to my friends riding with me. I am glad to have passed this love on to my children, but today’s trip was one aggravation after another and it’s a wonder I didn’t just peddle right into Lake Gardner and call it a day.
It was a balmy 50 degrees and the massive amount of snow we got this year was melting so I decided around lunchtime that when the boys got home from school we would all grab the bikes and helmets and ride off into the sunset, hair blowing in the wind while we sing and laugh and they all declare me the best Mom ever…! It didn’t quite go like that.
First, you have to convince the children they want to go on the ride. You would’ve thought I asked them if they wanted to go get their teeth extracted the way they grumbled and moaned and protested at my suggestion. The oldest was watching Modern Family in the living room with all the curtains drawn and the lights off. He had just eaten 7 snacks rapid-fire and was now hiding under a Snuggie because I invited him to go outside and get some exercise and fresh air. “I already had gym today!” skinny jeans declared. To which I asked “Yeah, what did you do today in gym?” He then proceeded to show me some stupid planking-like body move and said he had to hold that pose for 2 minutes. Kids today are such pussies. What happened to dodge ball? Climbing a rope? Track and Field? The kid is in front of me doing damn yoga. No wonder all his classmates have muffin-tops. “Change your pants. Let’s go.” (all biz mommy) Being the first born (aka the perfect child) he went upstairs immediately and grabbed some sweats and a sweatshirt. One down.
Next up, the middle child. Ugh. Seven year old boy who will talk until your ears bleed. He is usually the most active of the 3 so I was surprised when he ran upstairs and tried to lock himself in the bedroom he shares with his older brother. The pile of clothes in his doorway helped me to slow down his attempt, and the door wouldn’t close all the way. That’s a win for Mom. To the bottom bunk he went, complaining about who knows what. I have trained my ears to stop hearing at the first hint of whine. Ultimately, what got him up and moving was the promise that he could borrow a Wii game from the library while we were out. Hey, whatever gets him there. I assume he knows they have books too but I’m not 100% on that. Two down.
Baby girl has the best deal in this whole gig. She rides on a toddler bike seat that sits in front of me while I peddle my ass off. She thinks it’s cute to pretend she’s out of breath and winded. I do not think it is cute. But honestly, riding on that bike with her is one of my favorite things ever and we have an absolute blast. Soon, she will be learning to ride her own bike so I cherish her at age 3. She changed out of her fancy dress and tights was ready to go. Three down.
Now, to get the bikes out of the garage. They were hanging upside-down on these big ass hooks so I had to bust out the ladder and get them down. I got two awesome new bruises while doing this. But I did it. Three heavy bikes down. I’m slightly out of breath so I pause and notice #1′s bike has a flat front tire. Shit. I forgot that when we put them away for the winter. Now try to find the bike pump and his helmet, which of course isn’t with the others. (Why would it be?) Found the pump, but it’s useless. The tire is junk. Pulled out the ladder (again!) and pull down his old bike from when he was 6. He tried to appease me but it really was too small for him to ride and he’s not Puerto Rican. Put that bike back up on the hook. Called hubby. Gave him the measurements and the new tire would be arriving in about an hour. But who can wait? I suggest to my son that he go borrow his friend’s bike. Twenty minutes later (the kid lives 2 doors down) he arrives with the bike, and the kid’s brother. OK. One more kid, why not? I already have three so I might as well have a hundred. We’re almost ready to go. The 7 year old has to climb out of the tree. I have to fix the zipper on my back pack, fill a water bottle, grab my overdue library movies (AND books) and hit the road. OK, lift my daughter and try to buckle her in the seat. She’s apparently grown a foot since our last ride and needs the straps adjusted. Lift her out of the seat. Adjust two of the stupidest straps ever constructed in life. This took a solid 6 minutes. Neighbor kid asks if we can stop at the store so he can buy gum for MCAS. (huh?) Oh and can I hold his ten dollar bill? Strap the babe in and click her helmet. We’re almost out of my driveway. Look at my phone, it’s been exactly an hour from when we started.
The main road we have to take to get downtown is over a mile long and riddled with potholes. My middle son stopped riding his bike approximately every 30 seconds and walked it. I was starting to lose it. And for the first time ever, it was car after car after speeding car on this old country road. WTF!? Got all the kids on the right side of the road and started to feel the stream of muddy water that was kicking up from my back tire onto my bum & back as well as my white backpack with the bobby pin zipper. (breathe, Kerry, breathe) Bike walker boy finally gets some momentum and then promptly falls right in front of me. I have NO patience for this bullshit move. ”You’re fine. Get up” was all I could muster while gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes. Supermom!
We flew down the hill, babygirl and me! It is a glorious trip down Whitehall Road but we are already dreading the return. (What flies down, must walk up) We made it to the library in 25 minutes (it’s less than a mile and a half away) and here I sit, catching my breath and letting off steam via my keyboard while the kids all ask me “Are we going yet? Are we going yet?”
Thank God you’re listening. Next stop, gum for MCAS. After that, six pack for Supermom.