>> Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Boy #2 has inherited a bike from our one of our neighbours. It's a little creaky, a little stiff, and at no point has both stabilisers touching the ground at the same time, but he loves it with a passion. The moment it arrived he wanted to try it out; never mind that it was 6.00pm, minus 5degC and getting darker by the minute; he was determined to get on it and make tracks. Once he did, I was treated to a running commentary on how cool he looked, how blue and yellow (the livery of the bike) are his favourite colours, and how he was such a big boy when he was riding it.
In the two days since he has climbed onto it first thing in the morning and doggedly pedalled through the snow (with a little help from mama who, I don't mind telling you, is getting a more than slightly achey back as a result) along the roads in our compound to the gate nearest Boy #1's school for drop-off and pick-up.
Boy #1 has also been lent a bike until his own turns up from London (which I am assured should be very soon), but is nowhere near as enthusiastic about using it. This may be because it is, in fact slightly too small for him, or - as he has informed me - that stabilisers are for babies and once his own bike arrives he wants them taken off. Or it may be that cycling across ice and snow looks like rather too much hard work for a 6 year old with nothing to prove, when he can scuff along dragging on my arm instead (did I mention already that my back is aching?).
In any case, it's Boy#2 who is cutting a dash through the compound on two wheels, not looking where he is going and assuring me in a matter-of-fact tone that 'it's alright mama, it's alright...' when he ends up lying in the snow as a result. Thank heavens for padded teflon-coated snow gear, is all I can say...
Once we reach the edge of the compound he unwillingly leaves the bike safely at the gatehouse, and we walk the last few yards to drop Boy #1 off at class. Then a few minutes later, it's back up the hill for the bike's proud owner to reclaim it for the trip home.
After he's struggled on to the slightly-too-high saddle, I push him up the slight incline, asking every now and again if perhaps, 'Boy #2, you could actually pedal...', and suggesting that if he wants to stay upright it might be a good idea to stay on the tarmac rather than to tangle with the gravel path along the edges.
And I watch his determined, proud little face, so grown up and yet still so much my little boy, and I know.
I am blessed.