Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On the road again

After far too many miles in the car, I finally got a tune-up for my bicycle and Sam's and we are once again able to ride to school and back most every day. It's interesting to note how we've changed in one season -- where a few months ago Sam stretched to his tippy toes to touch the ground while sitting on his bike, he now stands confidently flat-footed. I, on the other hand, have lost a lot of conditioning, and am struggling to keep up with my young speed demon. Fortunately I have gears, which help greatly when Sam surges ahead through traffic. Drivers around our school are, for the most part, considerate and aware. Nonetheless, having Sam twenty feet away on a busy street makes me feel helpless -- I can't just reach out and grab him back if he makes a mistake, and the consequences are so dire. Every ride is a study in the loneliness of parenting; my child looks only forward, rejoicing in his freedom and growing abilities while I concentrate on invisibly keeping him safe, glad of his pleasure but painfully aware of the empty space in my arms which used to be enough for him.

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