Friday, July 11, 2008

Two Boys, A Bike, and Five Bucks

Recently my two oldest boys (11 and 8) asked if they could ride their bikes to the pool. The 11 year old has ridden many times, but this would be the 8 year olds first time on his new bigger bike.

They planned out their path in great detail and after receiving some strict instructions from their mom (about their ride to the pool), they were off. Little did I know they had a whopping five bucks in their pockets.

They rode the path from our home to our local public pool along the newly placed sidewalk that now stretches from the entrance of our street all the way passed the high school, through the tree lined neighborhood, along the front of the hospital and ends at the golf course, which is just a block from the pool. They later described their daring and yet careful crossing of the quiet street that the pool is located on. My heart was relieved that they had made it safely, until I heard the rest of the story.

After several hours of sun, chlorine, and the back flops off the diving board, two boys hopped on their bikes for their journey home. But instead of taking the quiet tree lined sidewalk safe path that they had chosen for their ride to the pool, they instead headed through the busy neighborhood streets, crossed the four lane (might as well of been the freeway in my mind) main street in our community to spend the five dollars they had carefully collected and was burning in their pockets.

I can only picture them racing down the sidewalk along Bremer Ave. stopping at each intersection, imagining they stopped and walked their bikes to cross the street (I can hope), and finally arriving at one of our local gas stations/convenience stores filled with everything imaginable for two boys to spend their hard earned five dollars.

After hearing of their daring and adventurous afternoon, I didn't inquire too much about the actual purchase. All I saw was the wrappers and satisfaction that two boys had enjoyed this and this.

They had not given too much thought about what mom may think of their choice to make a quick stop (in their minds) to spend their hard earned money until the door opened from the garage and they entered the house carefully hanging towels and backpacks on hooks and heading to the trash can with evidence in hand.

Eyes red, cheeks sun kissed, and shoulders pink, their faces beamed with excitement and satisfaction as if they had just done something really wonderful and important. Over the next thirty minutes I heard the stories of their big adventure. It started with words like careful, slow, crosswalks, and ended with "it was so cool", "my brakes work good", and "I looked back once in a while to make sure he was ok".

As a mother I knew this was one of those moments where I had a choice. I could ruin the day my two boys headed out together on their bikes and did something they had never done before or I could enjoy the moment, the excitement, their accomplishment and join in on their celebration. I chose the latter.

I knew in my heart that my oldest son (who has traveled a little more on his bike) was careful and watchful of his younger brother. I knew the younger brother listened and followed carefully the instructions of his older brother. I will never know what risks they took, the smiles they gave each other or of the sheer joy only the two of them experienced as they rode along in the sunshine on a summer afternoon.

13 comments:

Nicole said...

That is awesome!! I have let go a little this summer with my kids too, they have been to Burger King, McDonalds, the Library, the Pool, the W, and who knows where else with their 4 older cousins this summer. The thought of it ties my stomach in knots, but I remember back when I was a kid and bopped from friends house to friends house from sun up to sun down in the summer..I know different time different world, but the good thing I know now is that they have a big, giant, loving Heavenly Father watching over them with much better care than I could ever hope to give!! Lots of mini-prayers through out the day, and like you, finding out AFTER the fact have kept me from quitting my job, wrapping them in bubble wrap, and taping them to the couch!! smiles, hugs, and I MISS YOU!!!!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

It's so hard to watch them grow up and not constantly worry. Like Nicole, I've been giving my girl some more freedom this summer. She's nearly 10. Already, this has been a summer of her really starting to test her wings...lots of going & doing.

On the flip side, I bet they had a great time in their adventure. I never thought twice about that kind of thing when I was a kid. It was just part of growing up.

Good to hear from you, friend.

Judy said...

Thank you for sharing the story! It's hard letting go...your story will be a reminder to me during the times I don't want to let go. I've struggled this summer with swim races in the deep end of the pool, a running the pushmower, driving the lawnmower, weed whacker, and now a go cart and 4 wheeler. These things bring him such joy though, and I'm reminded that I can't keep him a baby forever.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

*sigh* I want to be like you :) I'm afraid I would have launched into a sermon about the dangers...and what you did was exactly right. They will probably always remember their little adventure! ...I need to lighten up, this was just what I needed today.

Love when you blog, my friend!

Mocha with Linda said...

Such a great reminder for me that I don't always have to scold!

My MIL still doesn't want to hear some of the "adventures" my husband had when he was younger. Of course it was a whole 'nother world in the late fifties and early sixties. . . .

melanie said...

you painted the sweetest picture! i can just see their red cheeks and grins! how fun!

Susanne said...

I love this! I remember biking adventures so I can just imagine their excitement! Good choice you made, Chris, enjoying it along with them.

Lisa writes... said...

The day comes when we just have to trust them! Not easy, but true. Great lesson, Chris!

And I'm glad to "see" you back!

Beefy said...

What a neat story today. I loved doing that when i was little - candy used up most of my money, and I always kept a stash in my bedroom just in case. Keep an eye on that!!

You're such a great mom. :)

Linda said...

What a sweet story Chris. I am sure you made the right choice. I often long for the days when we Mom's didn't have to give little adventures like that a second thought. Everything seemed so safe and secure when I was growing up. It sounds to me as though they were very careful. I'm glad they had such a fun time.

Becoming Me said...

What a neat story. i am sure it will be one that both boys always remember...especially since you recorded it for them. Precious.

Heth said...

I love how big brother watches out for little brother. This was a sweet story to read Chris.

Diana said...

how precious!!