So, on Monday afternoon at the end of quiet time, I pulled the chicken out of the freezer, and realized that I had until the chicken thawed to do something with the kids. I don't normally spend the four o'clock hour playing, but I had an hour to kill and M was not due home until 5. My toe has been fine with walking and some light jogging and I knew it was long past due for me to take the girls out on their bikes...
|G (5) Photo by Paul Hasser.|
We head out with G (5) in the lead. We had decided to go where they had walked with the neighbors last week: around the block and behind the church that is on the other side of our backyard fence. "Am I showing you all the way? Is that why I am in the lead?" G asks again and again. She pedals confidently to each street corner and then waits for us to catch up. She and M went and picked out the pink bike back in May as a late birthday present. It is still fitted with training wheels, but I think that if we took an afternoon with her to try without, she could bike on her own.
|L (3) Photo by Paul Hasser|
|F (1.5) Photo by Paul Hasser.|
L manages to get a lot of speed every time, explaining, "I am doing my tricks!" Her rolling technique is building speed on her hands and knees and then stretching out straight once she is going. As the girls dash breathlessly to the top of the hill they ask to roll again. So, I let them. Again and again and again the two girls roll, giggling and dizzy. G comes to the top, surveying the hill, "I want to see how this part feels!" And she gives it a try, only to come back and strategically try another spot. She understands that no part of the hill feels the same as any other part, and she wants to try it all. L always seems to go for the steepest parts of the hill, and I think she gets a thrill out of rolling dangerously. I get a thrill out of watching her go.
F has asked to get out of the stroller and is watching her sisters roll. She waddles over to a flat spot of grass, tries to roll once, but instead is content to lay on her belly, kicking her feet, and laughing. She comes back to the stroller and climbs on the front and around it, and then tries the grass again.
The weather is lovely, with the sun shining and the breeze mild. It is time to go home to make dinner. After 6 "one last rolls", we put the girls' helmets back on and go home the short way. I wonder to myself how many more afternoons we have like this before the cold sets in, and resolve to take advantage of more of them while we still can.