Sunday, April 15, 2012

On wheels -- but not in a wheelchair ... yet!

Alison is looking at her 11th birthday here in a bit and Jeff really wants to buy her a big girl bike. One with gears and hand brakes that fits her leggy self.

She's had a nice little bike for a couple of years and it's too short for her, has a pedal brake, and until the first bike ride of 2012, had a little white wicker basket, butterflies and noise makers on the wheels.

She thought she'd outgrown the girly little things, so off they came.

So anyway, she and Jeff went bike shopping today and when they got home, he had her try out my bike. She's going to be taller than me, but she's not quite there yet. She is 4-feet 11-inches to my 5-4.

She did a great job with it. It's a tiny bit too big for her, but it's next progression. The sad fact is that one day my bike will be too short for her. But she was living large on her practice runs.

So as we were finishing up dinner tonight, Jeff suggested a bike ride to Bric's instead of her standard vanilla cone at home. She readily agreed and opined that she could ride my bike.

I smiled and said, "Uh, and how will I get there?"

She looked at me and said, "Mom, there's really nothing you will have there, is there?"

I said, "I AM going with you."

"Oh." she said, resigning herself to her little bike.

"Hey! How about I roller blade and you guys ride?" I suggest, thinking that I'm not just a cool mom, I'm an unselfish and creative mom.

She frowned. "YOU know how to rollerblade?"

"Sure," I said.

"I don't think this is a good idea," she said, following me around like a little hen as I unearth the roller blades, which came from the previous millenium.

Now, it's true I haven't had my roller blades on in, oh, at least a decade. They've been living in the garage. While I didn't let on, I WAS a little concerned that I could:

a.)get upright
b.) stay upright and
c.) make it the mile and back to the ice-cream shop.

I had, you see, already ridden my bike and worked out for more than an hour that morning. Then, I'd spent a few hours planting some lilacs, relocating some flox and weeding the last of the flower beds. I mowed the back yard and relocated some bricks and rocks that border the flower beds.

I had worked out more than enough. But there was no way I was wimping out now. I got the roller blades out, shook out the decade of whatever had crawled or fallen in there and said prayer of thanks that I wasn't squishing any mice babies when I crammed my feet inside the little booties.

I wondered if the wheels would even turn. I got up and windmilled down the driveway, Alison trailing my every move. "Are you sure about this?" she inquired.

Still a bit wobbly but recalling the basic balancing moves, "I panted, "Why are you so worried about this, Alison?"

"Well, I have known you for ALMOST 11 years now and I have NEVER seen you on roller blades. I don't want you to fall down and get hurt," she fretted.

I told her to get on her bike. I was heading north and she and her dad could catch me.

"Are you sure you can go uphill?" she called.

I get up the hill and start north on the Monon with her at my heels. We get on our way and damned if Worry Wart No. 2 didn't come by carrying my bicycle helmet. I put it on and shooed him to catch up with Ali.

We get to the ice cream store. I go to Brics with them, but the diet selection is non-existent. So I usually wait until I get home to have my ice cream on these trips.

I tell them to go in and I'd snag a table. "Bring me something chocolate. Full fat if you have to, I don't care," I said.

Jeff almost fell down.

Ali had her standard vanilla in a cake cone. Jeff had some new concoction of chocolate-covered pretzels in vanilla ice cream in a pretzel cone. I do not approve of salt in ice cream. And the only thing I want in my chocolate is more chocoalate.

He did not disappoint, and it was goooood.

I'm going to roller blade more often.

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