Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lesson Learned

John is great. I know he’s great. I’m not in any doubt of his generosity, thoughtfulness, industriousness or general goodness. And even though, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone” I don’t think that I am so dense that I need my face rubbed in it.
We dropped him off at the airport this morning for a trip that will take him away from us for eight days. In an effort to raise our spirits and take advantage of the cool, sunny morning I decided to stop at a park instead of running back to the Sneaky House (the apartment). My rusty memory of the park was that is would be excellent for bike riding…it being a mile and half path of boardwalks and bridges strung out over a lovely lake.
Well. Towards the beginning of the path Rosie’s chain fell off and I wrestled for some time with it…missing John and his bike fixing skills. A kind man who called me, “sweetie” stopped mid-jog and took his turn with it, eventually getting it all set.
So we carried on. About 1/3 of the way down the path Anthony returned from one of his off-roading ventures…pushing his bike. I was quite proud of myself because I had his chain back on in record time. But it was to no avail because he had somehow jammed the back tire forward and sideways so that it was rubbing against the frame. So he spent the rest of the trail pushing his bike and mourning the loss of his freedom.
Two thirds around the path we had two more casualties. Rosie’s chain fell off and we both agreed that it was better for her to push then to have me try and fail yet again. “If only daddy were here…” Yes, yes indeed dear. The second casualty was that Thomas…Thomas the tiger…Thomas the Terror…Thomas the unstoppable…stopped. And although his was the only functioning bike he required a great deal of pushing and taking advantage of the downhills. I pushed as I remembered how we were at another park last week and John pushed Thomas up the little hills…
As Anthony set his mind to shouldering his burden and plowing ahead with a will of steel – and as I was pushing the stroller and Thomas most of the time and Rosie was very sweetly stopping to pick every wildflower for me – Anthony got very far in front of us and as we rounded a bend I caught sight of a little Anthony-speck pushing a bike…up the wrong path. I shouted until I hurt my throat but the din from the main thoroughfare running parallel to us drowned me out. So I had to leave the other three on the main path and run up the side path howling like a mother hyena, or seagull, or other obnoxious-sounding animal. My uterus ached as I recalled how fast John can sprint.
BUT…we did it. In fact, the kids proved themselves capable of great effort and cheerful camaraderie. It was strangely bracing. I hadn’t been feeling o’er confident about my being up to this week without a backyard and with all the comings and goings but after this morning I think that we are going to be fine. 
Once I got home and had to deal with all the poop (Thomas is potty-training) and poopy diapers (CeCe is not) my confidence took a slight hit but overall I think that it was a good first day going solo.