I’m feeling nostalgic today. My kids are growing up. Gone are the two-kid-hauling days when they read books and ate snacks and wondered and giggled with pure innocent joy while riding on my Xtracycle.
And took rides then ran a little bit and hopped back on:
(Gone also are the two-kid Snapdeck arguments and helmet bonking - let’s be honest, it’s not all fun).
My kids hardly ever take rides on my Xtracycle anymore. And when they do, it’s usually for just a few short blocks. But I’ll take those blocks when I can get them because I know that soon those will be gone too.
Yesterday, the 10-year-old had a sleepover at a friend’s house who lives close by. Tim and I made plans with the 8-year-old’s friend and his family to meet at Fremont Brewing for some dinner and beers (for the adults of course). I hauled our daughter on my Xtracycle those few blocks because I didn’t want her to have to deal with storing her bike for the night. Our son rode his bike because he wanted to be a big kid and ride his own bike at night.
But I hauled him and his bike part of the way too because we were late and he was slow and I could. And I enjoyed having him back there riding side-saddle on the Xtracycle with his bike trailing behind us.
Even if that too was short-lived.
He reminded me several times while he was sitting back there that he wanted to be a big kid on his own bike and ride at night. Oh yeah, I remember,” just a few more blocks and I’ll let you off”.
And he did get off, pedaled his bike in the dark with all of his lights on and he was proud to arrive in Fremont using his own power.
Days like yesterday make me think about why we do this whole bike thing (and drag our kids along with us). Of course we do it to better our community, connect with people and reduce traffic and pollution along the way (oh, and let’s not forget about the fun).
We also ride out of nostalgia: Tim and I both grew up riding bikes to get where we needed to go (school, the store and everywhere else). Even though our parents also drove us around, we’re most nostalgic about bikes and the freedom, joy, power and sense of accomplishment riding them instilled in us.
And we want our kids to experience all of these things too.
We may miss hauling them from time to time, but we’re also proud that they are learning to ride on their own.
For those of you with littles, enjoy the time you have with them as cargo even if hauling them around sometimes feels like a chore.
Soon they’ll be big and you’ll miss them.