Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Bike Trailer

I think the hardest part of having children is accidentally giving up part of yourself.  It's not intentional. When your babies are little, you put off things that you love doing, things that make you who YOU are, so you can love on this wee little one who is depending on you for survival.  You may put off painting or drawing, or long winter hikes, or weekends spent in a cabin in the woods with your phone off, or even just going for a little bike ride. You don't even know you've given up the things that you love and the things that make you, YOU. It's accidental. Suddenly, the thing that makes you YOU, poops and cries and giggles and wakes you up in the middle of the night to tell you she's figured out her first two syllable word: "Coooookie."

You end up telling yourself  "When she can hold up her neck, we can put her in a trek pack and go on those hikes." But by the time she can hold up her neck, she's prone to ear infections; now taking her on a winter hike doesn't seem like the nicest thing to do. Then by the time she's over ear infections, she too heavy to put in a trek pack but still too little to hike on her own. You're looking at pictures of your younger self wondering why it's been 5 years since you've done one of the things that you loved doing.

Or maybe you'd want to get out your fancy charcoal drawing pencils, but you only have 30 minutes before the Taz comes tearing in and breaks them all in half before trying to poke the sharp ends through the leather couch. Never mind the part where she tries to shove one down her throat. So, you put away your fancy art supplies and get out the washable markers and watercolors and princess pictures and work with what you have.

Some days it seems like you've had to give it all up for them. Which is exactly what you promised the minute you laid eyes on them: "little one, I will give my life for you."  But at the same time, when you're chauffeuring them around to all of the places they love to go, you wonder how you will ever teach them passion if you've lost yours.

Tonight, in the form of a bike trailer bought off of Craigslist, the three of us found our common ground. The wind was in our hair. We had the open road (o.k. sidewalk). There were squeals of delight as we turned each corner.  And in the ten minutes it took to do a "dry run" from our house to the school and back, I had reclaimed part of myself and a love of biking. What a feeling to combine your loves. This must be what veteran parents mean by "it gets easier."

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