Wednesday, April 21

The Things I Make My Kids Do

Today, I made my kids do something I remember thinking I would NOT make my kids do when I grew up.

We rode bikes home from school. I do remember loving to ride my bike, and I remember riding my bike to and from school as I got older. We lived across town from my school so it seemed like a long ways to me. In reality it was about 3 miles; the same distance we live from our school now.

But to get to our "neighborhood school" today, we have to parallel a major highway, navigate through the great American shopping center (Costco, Home Depot, Walmart and Target), cross a river on a busy arterial bridge, cut through two neighborhoods and skirt around a gated dirt road that looks like the product of an easement argument.

This is the part I remember telling myself I wouldn't make my kids do someday: walking and biking when it wasn't cool (maybe it was just junior high) and taking unconventional routes to do it.

To get home with the kids today, we navigated all of the above including a mud path behind the new Walmart landscaping and a weedy field between the shopping center and the community college. And the kids loved it, especially the part behind Home Depot where we stopped for a snack. We got to watch a truck driver unhitch a trailer and add another set of semitruck wheels (Brian says this is a dolly) so the truck could pull two trailers. I used to think driving a truck looked sedentary - no more! You try pulling four giant wheels attached to a huge steel hitch around a parking lot - with just your one human body.

So hopefully the kids will keep thinking mom's bike routes are an adventure for a few more years ... or until junior high at least.

Monday, April 12

Misery Loves Company

I decided, the other night while skinning (skiing uphill on climbing skins) up Big Mountain, that I just want someone to acknowledge that it's really hard.

As I watched Brian's back get smaller ahead of me, three other men passed me. One, in the neighborhood of 60 and on snowshoes (much slower than skis unless I'm on the skis in question) passed me and asked how it was going. I said, with a smile ... really! ... that it never gets any easier. He responded by asking how many times I had climbed. As if I'm going to tell him just so he, who I'm guessing isn't juggling small children and is probably retired, can tell me I should do it more. As if I didn't know that! Thankfully, for once, I had the presence of mind to say, "Obviously, not enough." And off he climbed disappearing ahead with the others.

So I had some time to think. And I concluded that I don't like climbing and I just want others to acknowledge that it's hard. And I don't want to be expected to be cheerful and perky about something hard. But therein lies my problem. Most people who do this do actually enjoy it, so evidently, they don't mind that it's really not that much fun!