Mom as Pseudo-Athlete – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers
Now that it is springtime, I’ve been taking my son to the park a lot. He always manages to make friends to play with while he is there. There are downtimes, though, when he has no one to play with, so he rides his bicycle or scooter by himself. As I watched him last week, riding by himself, it struck me: Why can’t I buy an inexpensive bicycle and join him?
I searched the sports chain stores online because I was looking for a bicycle to just ride around the neighborhood. I certainly wasn’t going to go mountain biking with this kid. I found one at a great price, already assembled! When I walked into the store, it was on the floor, staring at me! My “girlish” bike! In fuchsia and silver, to distinguish it from my son’s and husband’s “tough guy” bikes. I even found a helmet that coordinated with the bike!
As I was paying for the bicycle, I asked if they could hold the bicycle until the end of the day so that my husband could put it on the bike rack he has on his car and transport it home. No such luck (and a rather odd policy). I was determined to get this bicycle so I asked if someone could help me lift it into my car. They said they could comply.
I have an SUV with second and third row seats that fold down. I keep the third row of seats down all the time because I am usually carting around my son’s bicycle, scooter and skateboard, among other items, in the back of my car, so I need the extra room. To fit an adult size bicycle, I also had to put the second row of seats down. The kind gentleman helped me maneuver my new bicycle into the car and it just fit! Yippee!
I was on my way home with my new toy! I felt like I was 7 again!
My son saw my new bicycle and was thrilled! We decided to try it out before dinner this evening. The last bicycle I had was close to 20 years ago and was a high-tech 10-speed! This new one I now have has 21 speeds. Mind boggling. I wanted to test out shifting gears at higher speeds, so I would speed up, imagining that I was that 7-year-old girl, riding her bike without a care in the world, hair whipping across my face (Helmet? Sorry, no helmets back in those days)! I was free again! Free of obligations, commitments, stress, worry, responsibilities! Um…until I heard my son yelling, “Mommy! Your bike is too fast! I can’t keep up”)! Ahh…back to the world of reality. For several fleeting minutes, though, it was me, and only me. Free as a bird!
I circled back to my son who had stopped at a corner, huffing and puffing. He said my bicycle was too fast for him to keep up. I explained about the gears and different speeds to him. He replied, “Wow! I want a bicycle like yours for my birthday, Mommy!” I agreed that he needed a larger bicycle but said I wasn’t sure the multi-speed bicycles came in his size. I also promised to ride slower and circle back if he needed to rest.
After a half hour, my son said his legs worked so hard, they were “wobbling,” so we headed back home. Once he put his bicycle back into the garage, he spotted his scooter and asked if he could scoot up and down the driveway. I told him it was fine as I had to take the dog out anyway.
I watched as he did little jumps and tricks with his scooter. He was certainly agile and talented. The dog and I watched my son for about 15 minutes, then headed inside as the sun was setting. My son finished up his scootering and headed in behind us. I envied my son’s natural athletic abilities. They certainly didn’t come from me, though!
Once inside and after my son fell asleep, I went onto the computer and googled “adult scooters.” I found this pretty but simple, inexpensive scooter from, again, another chain store. The scooter, however, had to be purchased online and shipped. They didn’t carry the one I wanted in the stores.
I am currently awaiting the delivery of my next new toy to use with my son. Except mine will be silver and purple!