Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vignette - they take to the road

The scene: the cul-de-sac in front of our house. Now that the snow's pretty much melted, the kids have been clamoring to get back on their bikes. So after hauling their dusty wheels out of the dusty garage and pumping up the tires, I've set them loose on an unsuspecting neighborhood.

Either the bikes got smaller or they grew over the winter, because their legs seem a little more bunched up than I remember from last year. It means we'll soon have to initiate a new round of bike-themed hand-me-downing, but for today, they seem content to take their smallish machines for a spin.

Their excited voices echo off the silent houses as they cruise longish circles up and down the empty street. The pavement is chaotically streaked with salt stains, crusty mud and patches of gravel and grit, signs of a hard winter that they know could come back any day and turn it all back into pure white.

But for now, they're happy to have been sprung from the house, happy to taste a little bit of the outdoors as spring tantalizingly beckons. This is, I suppose, what freedom looks like when you've been watching the world through a frosty living room window for four months.

Before long, the late afternoon shadows push the sun away and paint the street with increasingly blue-tinged light. They shiver in their sweaters and blow warm air onto their hands before deciding they've had enough for now. They make their way inside and pat the puppy who's been watching them patiently from the front door.

Tomorrow's another day, another opportunity to continue to expand their view of the world. I won't always be so lucky to stand beside the road and watch them as I have today.

17 comments:

Mojo said...

You may not be able to watch over their shoulders, but no matter how old they get, you'll always be watching. And yours will be among the lucky ones who value that I think.

Here's another Kitchen entry for this week's Thematic.
Thematic Photographic 40: "Kitchen" v.4.0 "Kitchen Essentials 3"

Wendy said...

Cherish those moments. All too soon they slip away. Then, you'll be looking at your grandkids!

Star said...

What a great post Carmi. Watch while you can.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Oh! Long evenings (no snow) and bike riding! Yay!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yep, same thing happened over here. I have yet to break out the mountain bike and/or get the road bike off its winter trainer, though.

I do wish someone was watching over me when I ride. Even if it's the motorists who share my road. (Or is it whose road I share?)

Thumper said...

Revel in it now...It still amazes me how fast the years went by, watching our son grow up. Even more amazing is that he survived his teen years. And that we did, too...

Mike Althouse said...

Ya, that's what is was like. No snow in my childhood, but the song remains the same...

Tanya sent me,

Mike

Hilary said...

That's so sweet. Watch while you can. They grow so quickly...

Cloudia said...

A warm, worthy, well written post, Carmi! Thanks for letting us visit the dear scene, Aloha-

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It has to be such a liberating thing for your kids to be on their bikes, once again---Even if they have outgrown them, sort of....I cannot imagine being in such cold snowy weather for four months, anymore....I am spoiled by living here in Southern California, I am happy to say....lol!
so for them to be out in the sunshine on bycycles---Well, that is Heaven!

NJ said...

When I was a kid, we didn't always have paved streets, and spring brought mud. We didn't go anywhere unless our feet were clad with rubber boots. And it still got inside our boots.

It's definitely exhilarating to see the kids out enjoying themselves again.

Oh and last year my 25 year old renewed his love of biking by purchasing a new mountain bike. I'm sure he'll have it out on the road soon too.

Teena in Toronto said...

That was always a sure sign of spring ... getting back on the bikes!

David said...

you will stand by them every minute, even when you have to be somewhere else. Your strength and devotion are much more than your physical presence. You can not always see or feel God, but you know He is right there. The same with these children and their loving father. Never missing, never far away.

Anonymous said...

Aaahhh spring, When the dog poop is no longer buried. and the yard work calls your name.

John Deere

MorahMommy said...

They were bubbling with excitement. The first bike ride of the season. Even though I was inside, I could still hear their endless chatter as they rode up and down the street.

The dog wasn't too impressed that he could only watch!

Happy Sunday, my Sweet!

Nikki-ann said...

This brings back memories of my brother & I racing around on our bikes as kids :)

kcinnova said...

My youngest pulled his bike out of the recesses of the garage on Thursday. It must be that time of year! Today, however, he was marching the length of the backyard. The silent neighbors who live behind us had their kitchen light on in the dreary gloom of the late afternoon. I wonder what they think of us? of the boy who plays outside for hours at a time?

[And this would be why I don't post every day -- I use up all of my good words in comments on other people's blogs!]