We got Gabe a tricycle for his third birthday. We had meant to get him a balance bike when Fae was born but we couldn’t get our shit together in time. Then, he started playing with tricycles at school and I had visions of all the tumbles he would take trying to figure out the balance part of the balance bike and then how his little brain would never want to ride it again and I thought…. fuck it, we’ll just do training wheels.
Right after his birthday daylight savings descended upon us. And in general I hate it. Just don’t mess with time, ok? It will right itself with the turning of the seasons anyway. But this time I jumped at the chance for the return of our after dinner outside time, and we took Gabe and his tricycle on their maiden voyage not long after.
And it doesn’t happen very often, these amazing, sun dappled, parenting high-five moments. But this was one of those.
Fae was in the front pack, I was in a sweatshirt and leggings, Kamel was in charge of making sure Gabe didn’t roll down the hill on his own, and we walked as a family around the block. No strollers, no fuss, no yelling at Gabe to hold our hands. We walked behind him as he scooted down the sidewalk, around the corner, “This way?” he’d ask, “No, bud… this way,” we’d point.
And I thought, in that moment of awareness, oh my goodness… this is what it is. This is what it feels like. I’m a mother. And I have a family. Look at what we’ve built, look at how far we’ve all come. Those moments of not moving forward and not looking back are so rare. They are so very rare that I want to sit in them forever. The clank of the tricycle that Kamel assembled, all of the little metal bits jiggle along at Gabe’s scooting pace. On inclines he’d pick up his feet and let gravity take the wheel. “Don’t let go!” we’d yell after him. And he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
It started getting dark and a little cold. Bedtime began approaching. But I didn’t want to turn home.
Just one more block?
Ok, just one more.