Before I got sick, Jake would often ask, "Mom, can we go on a bike ride?" I dreaded that question. He seemed to ask it around 5 o'clock when I should be starting dinner or wanted to call it a day. I always wanted to say yes, but almost always said no. First off, I didn't have a bike. Never really wanted one. Hardly had room for it in the garage. He just wanted me to go for a walk while they rode their bikes. Not too much to ask. I rarely did it.
But for some reason when I got sick, I remember telling my kids that when I was done with cancer, I would get a bike. That "some reason" was my new-found need to spend time doing things I knew they loved. I would make time in my day to enjoy what they enjoyed.
So about a month ago, we went to Santa Barbara to celebrate the last day of school. It was just an overnighter. I expected to check in, eat dinner, watch a movie in our room, then the kids would swim the next day and we'd go home. Well, to my surprise, they didn't want to swim.
Parked next to the pool were lots of bikes. Four seaters, two seaters and regular bikes. They wanted to rent a four seater and take it for a spin on the beach path. So we rented it for two hours and began our adventure. Nine minutes later, I kid you not, we returned it. We were so out of shape! First off, I've never claimed to be in shape and I could have sworn I saw smoke coming out of my knees as I tried to pedal that thing. My partner in the back seat was Rachel whose feet could hardly reach the pedals, so she was no help. Even Ed and Jake were laughing because they were struggling more than they thought they would.
So amidst our laughter and embarrassment, we returned the bike. Now the kids wanted a two seater, and Ed opted for a regular beach cruiser. I wanted to go lay by the pool and wait for their return. But that's why cancer is a good thing for me. Because the old me would have grabbed a towel and read a magazine by the pool. The new me wanted to grab a bike and join the fun. I can proudly say, this family bike ride lasted a whole hour -- though all of our legs vibrated with pain as we got off.
So this experience solidified my getting a bike. About a week later, my Mom and I found ourselves at Walmart. There, standing tall and cute among dozens of other bikes, was the only pink cruiser in the store. While no one was looking, I took it for a spin down the motor oil isle. (Say that quickly three times!) Handled well, brakes worked. Had to have it. Also had to buy the adorable basket too (at Target).
So yesterday around noon, Jake said, "Mom, when are you going to ride your new bike?"
"Right now. Let's go for a bike ride!" I proudly said. Where are the gold stars for my forehead I wondered.
OK, maybe many of you Moms do this a lot with your kids. But for a Mom who spends more time in her car than on a bike, I loved it! Though my "upper region" still hurts a tad, what fun. What was more fun though was seeing Jake smile at me while we rode around our neighborhood. As the commercial says...Priceless.
So what do your kids want you to do with them this summer? Actually get in the pool instead of watching from the lounge chair? Unfortunately, that will probably be my kids' next request. If I blog about it, I promise not to include photos!
So what's on the agenda today? Barbies? Playstation? Ping Pong? Rollerblading?
Follow your kid's lead. They will thank you. And I promise you -- your heart will too.