the older two way out ahead, up and down the curbs jumping, laughing an singing.
I make the youngest ride directly in front of me.
He's been riding since he was 3, but he scares me.
He rides differently than the other two,
looking at only what is directly in front of him-
one or two feet in front of him, totally in the moment,
barely skimming cars parked in the street and trashcans left from trashday yesterday.
then jerking the handlebars just in time to save him...(sometimes).
Will this be how he does life 10, 20 years from now?
I hope not. I don't think this mama heart could do it.
An all grown up life lived to the fullest, right in the moment, turning the handlebars barely in time to escape the hurdles ahead of him.
I don't want to watch, it almost makes a pain deep down in my gut. Or maybe it is my heart.
I'm not quite sure.
If I didn't have to watch the path in front of my own bike, stretched out, I'd squeeze my eyes tight.
"Don't forget to look ahead of you!" I tell him.
I want him to hold on tight, so tight that he won't when he hits the snags in his way.
I want to hold him tight.
He says, "OK, mom" with his sly grin that means I worry too much.
His 7 years nod to the 27 he will become.
I am thankful his turtle green bike helmet still fits him.
I put him behind me, on the sidewalk and hope he doesn't run into a jogger, or a cat sunning itself in the middle of the concrete path.
But there are even more obstacles there - cars parked half in the street, half out, someone's toys left from previous play, trashbags half filled with leaves.
I can't bear to watch. But I can't bear not to watch even more.
I put him back in front of me. At least there I can watch it all unfold and be there when the trials come his way.
He is so young.
We who are all lived up know there are things coming. Crap life throws your way, like blue recycling bins left out a day too long.
And I still choose to put him...all three of them...in front of me, legs peddling fast, so I can guide and encourage. Hands gripping the handlebars tight.
Even if it means I am witness to the crash.